Paid Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits Exceed 3 Billion Annually
The total value of long-term care insurance benefit payments for the 12-month period ending December 31, 2006 was $3.3 billion according to a just-published study. "This is the highest amount of benefit payments to Americans for a one-year period," announced Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the industry's professional organization.
"Some eight million Americans now own long-term care insurance protection obtained on an individual basis or through their employer," Slome states. "People think they won't need long-term care or that insurance may not be beneficial, but the opposite is true and the increasing amount of benefits paid to policyholders validates the important role this protection plays."
According to the study released today by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, about one-third (33.91%) of the insurance benefit payments made by eight of the nation's largest insurers in 2006 were allocated for home care. "One of the most significant benefits of owning long-term care coverage is the fact that it can pay for care received in your own home, which is what people clearly prefer," Slome explains. The Association study revealed that almost 30 percent (29.63%) of insurance benefits paid went toward assisted living costs and the balance, 36.46 percent, was allocated for nursing home care.
According to the Association study, the largest single claim paid to date by an insurer has exceeded $875,000. "The largest claims paid by leading insurers ranged from well over $350,000 to one approaching $900,000," says Slome. "Some of these individuals are still receiving long-term care so the total value of the protection they've received will continue to grow."
The complete study findings are included in the 2007 Long Term Care insurance Sourcebook published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Copies are available (free for members; $39 for non-members) by contacting the Association at (818) 597-3227 or by visiting the organization's Website at AALTCI.org