Monday, July 25, 2011

Women Buy Majority Life – Long-Term Care Insurance

Sales in 2010 of life insurance policies offering long-term care benefits surged 79 percent for the industry’s leading insurance carriers.

According to annual research conducted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance women comprised just over 60 percent of new buyers the study found.

“Linked life insurance policies that offer long-term care benefits experienced significant growth in 2010,” states Jesse Slome, the national trade organization’s executive director. “Consumers are finding these products offer a significant advantage when it comes to long-term care planning.”

Newer life insurance policies offer the ability for the policyholder to access funds should a need for long-term care occur. “For those with sufficient savings to purchase coverage, these new forms of protection help overcome the what if I don’t need long-term care,” Slome explains. If the policy benefits are not used for long-term care, the designated beneficiaries receive the death benefit.

According to data published in the Association’s 2011 Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook, over one-third (34%) of women who purchased new life+LTC policies in 2010 were between ages 55 and 64. Nearly 40 percent were between ages 65 and 74. Male purchasers tended to be slightly older Slome acknowledged.

“You need to have a fair amount of savings or what I call lazy money,” Slome explains. “Lazy money consists of funds sitting in low-paying Certificates of Deposit that can be easily put to far better use on your behalf.”

The single premium face amount of just over two-thirds of new policies purchased in 2010 was over $100,000. About a quarter of buyers opted for a face amount of over $200,000.

The complete findings are published in the Association’s 2011 Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook that can be obtained from any of the organizations 3,000 members. Slome advises consumers considering long-term care insurance to carefully compare coverage with a knowledgeable professional. ”Costs for virtually identical coverage can vary by as much as 40-to-60 percent,” he warns.

Monday, July 18, 2011

Free Guide Examines Long Term Care Insurance Cost Savings

The cost for virtually identical long-term care insurance protection for a 55-year-old couple can vary by as much as 92 percent according to a recent report.

The cost variation is due to the fact that each of the leading insurance companies sets their own rates. “Every company has their sweet spots where they are the most competitive in terms of cost,” explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “The lowest cost may not be the best long-term buy but because switching rarely is advisable, it is important to shop around.”

Long term care insurance experts acknowledge that few consumers are aware of common discounts available that can significantly reduce the cost of the protection. “Some of the discounts will also vary from company to company,” Slome explains. “While they may all offer the savings, the percentage discount offered may be quite different.”

Leading insurance companies offering long-term care insurance protection today include Genworth Financial, John Hancock, Mutual of Omaha and Prudential. “There are a number of significant companies like Transamerica, MedAmerica and LifeSecure that are leaders with very attractive and well-priced products as well,” Slome notes.

The Association recently reported that the number of Americans who would apply for new long-term care insurance coverage in 2011 would exceed 500,000. In 2010, some 475,000 purchased coverage according to the Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook, an increase over 2009. “More consumers in their 50s and 60s are clearly aware of the importance of planning,” Slome notes, “and the risk of putting it off too long.”

A free online guide that explains available discounts and planning techniques that can help reduce the cost for long-term care insurance is now available on the Association’s Consumer Information Center. “We believe helping educate more people is the first step to creating better understanding,” Slome concludes. The free guide is available without any required sign-in information.

Read the free guide by clicking here.

Monday, July 11, 2011

Cancer Death Rate Declines, Impact On Long-Term Care Need

A steady decline in overall cancer death rates among America’s aging adult population will create added stress on the long-term care needs of seniors.

Medical advances and better lifestyles among the aging population appears to have saved 898,000 deaths from cancer between 1990 and 2007. According to the latest statistics presented today by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, this is both good and bad news for the primary targets of cancer – senior citizens.

“When you live a long life, the risk of needing costly long-term care services is great,” explains Jesse Slome, AALTCI executive director. “When you live a longer life, the risk and cost will be even greater. More Americans will need home care and nursing home care services.”

Progress in the survival rate of those once impacted by cancer has not benefited all segments of the population equally. According to researchers, cancer death rates for individuals with the least education are more than twice those of the most educated.

Cancer death rates according to the American Cancer Society are still declining in the U.S., but some are declining faster than others — and cancer remains the leading cause of death for Americans younger than 85.

In it’s yearly report they estimated that 1,596,670 new cancer diagnoses and more than 570,000 cancer deaths are expected to occur this year.

Slome shared that death rates fell by about 22% for men and 14% for women between 1990 and 2007. Since the early 2000’s, the decline has been 1.9% a year in men and 1.5% each year in women. Better early detection and better treatment as well as reduced tobacco use over the past half-century that helped turned the tide in cancer-related deaths.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Olive Oil May Reduce Stroke Risk

Older people who use olive oil for cooking, or eat it as salad dressing or with bread may be protecting themselves against stroke.

French researchers found that seniors whose diet included a lot of olive had a 41% lower risk of stroke compared to those who had never consumed it. Stroke is a leading cause of needing long-term care among seniors according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the national trade group.

The study appearing in the journal Neurology’s online report may prompt a change in the dietary recommendations for preventing strokes in people aged 65 and over:

Researchers examined the medical records of 7,625 people aged 65 and over residing in three French cities: Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier and who had no history of stroke. They had available two measures of olive oil intake: dietary consumption from all the participants and blood levels of oleic acid.

The researchers categorized users as follows: A moderate user was someone who used olive oil either with cooking or as salad dressing or with bread. An intensive user was someone who used olive oil for both cooking or as a dressing or with bread.

After just over 5 years of follow up, there were 148 strokes in the whole group. Intensive users had a 41 percent lower risk of stroke compared to never users.