Of the new long-term care insurance claims filed in 2016, about 54 percent of them originated from the home, new data from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance show.
The percentage of LTCi claims originating from the home rose about 3 percentage points from 2012, the AALTCI data show.
In a separate study, AALTCI reported that about 280,000 long-term care insurance claimants were paid in 2016.
The small rise in the number of LTCi claims originating from home is a sign that people continue to prefer receiving long-term care services in the comfort of their home, said Jessie Slome, executive director of the association.
“Consumers are not interested in planning or thinking about a nursing home stay so you need to sell them in terms of something they want, which is home care or their ability to stay in their own home,” Slome said.
The latest claim analysis found that 32 percent of 2016 LTCi claims originated from nursing homes, a 1.5 percentage point increase compared to 2012.
In addition, 14 percent of LTCi claims last year originated from an assisted living community, a drop from 18.5 percent four years ago, the AALTCI reported.
Agents Should Stress Home Care
Receiving care in the home is much cheaper than in a nursing home, the cost of which can run upward of $50,000 a year in many communities.
Experts have also known for years that people prefer receiving long-term care in surroundings that are familiar instead of in an institutional setting.
Long-term care insurance agents, however, haven’t done enough to communicate the home benefit of LTCi coverage to policyholders, Slome said.
“Long-term care agents should be calling LTCi nursing home avoidance insurance,” he said. “They are not doing enough of that.”
There were an estimated 280,000 individuals on LTCi claims in the U.S. last year, an increase from 260,000 in 2015, the AALTCI previously reported.
Long-term care insurers paid $8.65 billion in claim benefits in 2016, an increase from $8.15 billion in 2015, the AALTCI also reported.
Prices Rise by up to 9 Percent in 2016
The average price a couple in their 60s could expect to pay for a new LTCi policy rose 6 to 9 percent in 2016 compared to 2015, the AALTCI said earlier this month in its 2017 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index.
A couple can expect to pay between $100 and $150 a month each for long-term care insurance protection, said the association, based in Westlake Village, Calif.
Insurers continue to price LTCi policies in anticipation of continuous claim payments and the fact that interest rates are likely to stay low, Slome said.
InsuranceNewsNet Senior Writer Cyril Tuohy has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at email@example.com.
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