Women Face Higher Costs: Wall Street Journal, November 23, 2012

Shopping for long term care insurance is about to get even trickier for families – and potentially costlier.

Women Face Higher CostsUntil now, insurers have charged the same premiums regardless of gender for the policies, which help pay for future nursing home, assisted living and home care. But beginning early next year, Genworth Financial, the country’s largest long term care insurer, plans to start charging women applying for coverage as much as 40% more than men.

The move is designed to better reflect the risks involved in covering women, who are paid two out of every three benefit dollars from long term care insurance, in part because they live longer and often have no caregivers at home, according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, a trade group based in Westlake Village, CA.

Other insurers are expected to follow Genworth’s lead, says Jesse Slome, the association’s executive director.

“Historically, the claims experience of single female applicants has been worse, says Steve Zabel, Genworth’s senior vice president for long term care insurance…
Married couples who buy coverage together can still get a discount, because the premium will be the “blended experience” of men and women, Mr. Zabel says.
When a man’s health declines, “a lot of times a woman is in the home and can provide some care,” lowering costs overall, he explains. “Many times when the female claims, there is no husband. The female needs to claim almost immediately and winds up in a facility more often.”

Women face higher costs and if you are not protected, are female and especially, if you are also single, don’t wait to apply for long term care insurance. If you wait even only a few months, you could wind up paying about 25% more for the same policy you could obtain now. Call us or Email us at once for a quote.

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Louis H. Brownstone is the Chairman of Northstar Network Insurance Agency, Inc. and a certified in Long Term Care specialist. Louis is recognized as an industry leader, with articles appearing frequently in California Broker Magazine and other industry publications and events. Read More