Sales of short-term care insurance grew in 2015 according to a just-released industry report from the National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information.
“Insurance agents are selling more short-term care insurance to seniors to fill gaps in Medicare and as a long-term care planning alternative when cost, age or health is an issue,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the National Advisory Center. Slome also heads the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). The organization analyzed sales and claims data from seven leading short-term care insurance companies.
In 2015, sales of short-term care insurance policies increased by 19.6 percent compared to the prior year according to the study. Short-term care insurance policies generally provide coverage for up to 360 days and can pay for home care assistance, assisted living and skilled nursing home care costs, Slome explains.
“These policies are ideal for individuals concerned about the cost of traditional long-term care insurance,” Slome adds. “It’s a great option for people who waited too long to start the long-term care planning process.”
According to AALTCI, some 41 percent of long-term care insurance claims last one year or less. “For many people, a year of short-term care insurance coverage is all they’ll need,” Slome explains. “Plus, it can be easier to qualify to receive benefits, a definite advantage when care is ultimately needed.”
The average yearly cost for individuals purchasing short-term care insurance in 2015 was $1,043, a 5.3 percent increase over the 2014 average according to the Center’s study. The research examined data on over 37,000 policies purchased in 2015.
The vast majority of buyers (90 percent) of short-term care insurance policies were 60 or older, the analysis found. “Some 45 percent were between ages 61 and 70 and around a third (36.5%) were between 71 and 80,” Slome noted.
The National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information advocates for the importance of planning and supports insurance and financial professionals who market short-term care insurance products. To learn more call the Center at 818-597-3205 or visit their website at www.shorttermcareinsurance.org.