More life insurers offering long-term care

Jun 27, 2011

More seniors are reliant on their life insurance to cover the costs of long-term care

Consumers worried about the costs of long-term care can often purchase insurance to cover those expenses. A report says more life insurance companies are making it possible for consumers to combine their life insurance policy with long-term care coverage.

Bloomberg reported the insurance industry has long struggled to encourage older Americans purchase standalone long-term care insurance policies. One solution has been to offer a combined product that typically branches off a universal life insurance policy. If a policyholder falls ill or requires long-term care, he or she would usually be able to tap into their death benefit to cover those costs.

Citing data from Genworth Financial, the report said sales of those hybrid policies increased twofold last year.

"The problem with long-term-care insurance is that the wealthy don't need it, because they can afford their own care, and the middle class can't afford it," Peter Katt, a Michigan life insurance adviser, told the source. Hybrid policies may be the best solution in that regard.

Cost of long-term care continues to increase, putting pressure on older Americans to plan for those expenses. That spurred New York legislators to adopt a law that allows seniors to tap into their life insurance policy's death benefit to pay for the costs.

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