Gender Gap. Women Receive Majority of Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits

Read Time: 6:26
Published: Mar 10th, 2019
Women Receive Majority of Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits
Article Updated:February 19th, 2021

If you do an internet search on long-term care it will return a substantial amount of information. Longevity is a significant retirement planning concern. As you prepare for retirement, not planning for the financial costs and burdens associated with aging will negatively affect your future income and lifestyle.

The result is that many more Americans own Long-Term Care Insurance to protect their future retirements and reduce the stress placed on the extended family. In 2020, the major insurance companies paid over $11.6 Billion in benefits from these policies to American families.

Women Receiving Benefits from Long-Term Care Insurance

It should be no surprise that women are the biggest beneficiary of these policies. According to a Long-Term Care Insurance claims study, nearly two-thirds of benefits went to women. The study was conducted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), national consumer education and advocacy group.

Planning for long-term care has always been especially important for women. Generally, women are the first caregivers. They have juggled providing care to their young children and later their parents, sometimes grandparents and other family members, and they become the first caregiver for their husbands as men usually require care before a woman does.

Women also get impacted needing care services, but they don't have the built-in support that a man might have. Women's longevity means that by the time, statistically, that a woman requires long-term care, the husband is either unable to provide care or has already passed away.

Single women, or those without children, lack build-in support to help them as they face changes in their health, bodies, and mind. Even with family support, the challenges to family members are numerous. 

Family caregivers face physical and emotional stress. Without family support, there is no family advocate on your behalf. 

Without a Long-Term Care Plan the Impact on Women is Greater

"Women account for 64 percent of Long-Term Care Insurance claims, men for 36 percent."

Jesse Slome, director of AALTCI

The claims data shared with the AALTCI by seven of the largest companies in Long-Term Care Insurance.

"Women are likely to need long-term care for a variety of reasons that generally result from living longer lives as well as conditions like dementia and Alzheimer's disease."

Jesse Slome 

The issue of long-term care has long been considered a women’s issue. Multiple generations of women are impacted because of long-term health care. Generally, women become the first caregivers. Without Long-Term Care Insurance, family members become caregivers even before paid care is sought. As men usually decline first, the wife is often the first caregiver. By the time a woman requires care, the husband has often either pass-away or not in a position to be a caregiver.

Suzi Orman, a nationally known financial expert, has long recommended American families purchase Long-Term Care Insurance. She points out this importance on her website www.suzeorman.com.

“Given our increasingly long-life spans and the fast-rising cost of health care, an LTCi policy can be the linchpin of a secure retirement.”

Suzi Orman, a nationally known financial expert

She says because of the risk, women should be sure to plan ahead and consider Long-Term Care Insurance.

“And it is doubly important for women to consider. According to the Society of Actuaries, a woman alive at age 65 has a one-in-three chance of still being alive at age 90. And if that 65-year-old woman happens to be in very good health the odds of being alive at 90 rises to more than 40%. In other words, there’s a good chance you could live a very long life.”

Suzi Orman

Women Face More Cognitive ImpairmentDue to Longevity

Nearly half of people who reach the age of 65 will need long-term health care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. These costs will come from your savings and income as most of the costs are not covered by health insurance, including Medicareand MedicareSupplements. Only a small amount of skilled care is covered. Unless you plan in advance, the costs will impact you, your family, savings, and lifestyle.

Many people are planning. The realization that the impact of long-term care on their savings and family members can be devastating drives more people to consider options like Long-Term Care Insurance.

A recent poll conducted by the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs says most Americans understand this risk.

Several Reasons People Purchase Long-Term Care Insurance 

As more Americans purchase Long-Term Care Insurance, more people are using the benefits from these policies. There are many reasons people give as to why they purchase Long-Term Care Insurance. These are the most common according to surveys:

•   Burden – People don't want to burden their spouses and adult children when they get older. Being a caregiver is stressful and impacts the caregiver's health, career, and family.

•   Asset Protection – Usually, the primary concern is protecting the lifestyle of the other spouse. Often, the wife. Generally, a man will experience a long-term care event before the woman. The wife may have many more years of lifespan afterward. The protection of savings to maintain the spouse's lifestyle is essential. Legacy is also important for some people. The ability to leave something to children and grand-children can also be a consideration. Forty-five states offer Long-Term Care Partnership policies that provide additional asset protection.

•   Choice of Quality Care – Long-Term Care Insurance provides the tax-free resources to pay for care in the setting you desire, either at home, adult daycare facilities, assisted living facilities, memory care, and nursing homes. This means you can select the location and quality of the care.

•   Independence and Control – Too often, the adult children make decisions on behalf of Mom or Dad. With Long-Term Care Insurance, you will remain in control without putting the responsibility on others. Managing a plan of care can be almost as stressful as being a caregiver. Most Long-Term Care Insurance policies provide case management which allows the family time just to be family. 

While long-term care is an issue that impacts women, men play an important role. Men are taking better care of themselves, and as they do, their risk for needing long-term care increases because of longevity. Both men and women share one thing in common; they generally have a big concern about their family's welfare.

Many companies offer shared spousal benefits. Several other options are available which can match your concerns. Asset-based "hybrid" policies exist which provide death benefits if you are lucky enough never to require care. Some companies offer limited-pay or single-pay policies where you only pay the premium one time or in ten years. Business owners can take advantage of tax benefits, and once a person retires, the premium has been paid in full for life. 

Start Research Before Retirement

A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can assist you in finding appropriate coverage. The best time to plan is prior to retirement when you enjoy better health and premiums are much lower. Find a qualified specialist by clicking here.

You can start online research by finding the current cost of care in your state and the availability of partnership plans and tax incentives. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator not only shows you the current and future cost of extended health care where you live but provides important state-specific information. 

Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to address the problems with getting older and the burdens otherwise placed on those you love. The polices work by giving you the resources to protect savings and ease the burdens on those you love.

About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

Editor's Note

There are several obstacles you face when planning for a successful future retirement. You don't want to lose your independence. Avoiding dependency is critical for most people. 

The fact is long-term health care is a significant cash flow issue. LTC Insurance addresses this problem. But, long-term care is also a family issue. Without any plan in place, the family will go into crisis mode. The result can be a disaster for you and your family, and your wishes may take a back seat.

An LTC policy keeps you in control and helps avoid becoming dependent on your children decades from now. You will have access to guaranteed tax-free benefits that will pay for your choice of quality care, either in-home or in a facility. 

You can safeguard your 401K, IRA, and other assets and maintain your lifestyle once you retire. However, Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you must have reasonably good health to obtain coverage. Plus, premiums are calculated on your age, health, family history, and other factors.

Most people want to avoid the lifestyle changes that happen when you have large health-related costs. Most of these costs are long-term care services. 

Plus, most people want to avoid placing the future responsibility of caregiving or managing future paid care services on their adult children. The role of the family caregiver is physically and emotionally demanding. 

Affordable Long-Term Care Insurance will give help you avoid dependence on your family in addition to protecting your income and assets. You will have access to your choice of quality care, including in-home care, which most people prefer. 

Research Tools on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers many resources to learn about the available options and learn about long-term health care issues. Click here and discover these resources. 

This comprehensive guide is an outstanding first-read -  The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide. Be sure to take notes so you can ask the appropriate questions when you speak with a qualified and trusted Long-Term Care Insurance specialist.

This conversation is one you should have with a specialist as most financial advisors or insurance agents lack the knowledge required in underwriting, policy design, tax implications, and claims. Find a specialist who works with the major companies by clicking here.

Discussion Points with a Specialist

When you speak with a specialist, be sure they discuss with you the following:

  • Partnership – Most states offer special policies that provide dollar-for-dollar asset protection. The Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program might be one of the best-kept secrets in retirement planning. Make sure the specialist explains this program and how it might help you.
  • Tax incentives – There are federal tax incentives available for some people. If you own your own business, be sure to ask.
  • Health Savings Accounts – If you have an HSA, you can use the pre-tax money in your account to pay for the premium.
  • Asset-Based or Hybrid policies – These are life insurance or annuities with a rider for long-term care. Careful, only a handful are actually a long-term care benefit. However, one of these policies can provide you with the flexibility of both a long-term care benefit or a death benefit. They are expensive but can be paid with a single premium.
  • Health and Family History - Make sure the specialist asks you detailed questions about your health, family history, and retirement plans. Underwritingcriteria vary with each insurance company. If they are not asking you detailed questions, then find another specialist.

LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator

Take a moment and find the current and future costs of long-term care where you live. This information helps you see the financial impact of long-term care on your savings and helps you decide the amount of coverage appropriate for you in your situation. 

Find your location and use the LTC NEWS cost of care calculator by clicking here.

Be Published on LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS offers many resources to help families address the consequences of long-term care, aging, health, caregiving, and other retirement issues. You can be part of the effort to help educate consumers throughout the U.S. and around the world.

Write a story for publication on LTC NEWS and let America hear what you have to say. Be sure your article fits the LTC NEWS target audience of adults 40-70.

Topics can include stories on:

  • Aging
  • Caregiving
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  • Long-Term Care
  • Retirement Planning

There are numerous other related topics, as well. You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. It must have editorial content exclusive for LTC NEWS and cannot be just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: newsroom@ltcnews.com or click here

Marketing and Advertising on LTC NEWS

Readers of LTC NEWS are researching retirement issues, including aging, health, caregiving, and long-term care. Other readers seek information for a parent or other loved one who is experiencing declining health or aging issues and require extended care.  

There are many marketing opportunities available, including sponsored content articles. Sponsored content offers you a long-form way to sell yourself, your company, and your ideas.

LTC NEWS can be an affordable way to drive consumers to your website or business - or promote products and services.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help you market your business - click here.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly
James Kelly

Contributor Since
August 21st, 2017

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

About the Author

LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

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