Over $12 Billion in Long-Term Care Insurance Claims Paid in 2021

According to a trade group's annual report, American families received a huge amount of Long-Term Care Insurance benefits in 2021 to help pay for the growing costs of long-term health care services and supports. These benefits pay for quality care options easing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on adult children.

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Over $12 Billion in Long-Term Care Insurance Claims Paid in 2021
5 Min Read January 2nd, 2022 Updated:February 17th, 2023

Long-term care continued to be in the news throughout 2021, and those who owned Long-Term Care Insurance received a record amount in benefits, according to national consumer education and trade group.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) released its annual report showing that the nation's top insurance companies paid $12.3 Billion in claims in 2021. That amount is a significant increase over previous years, showing a substantial rise in policy usage.

2022 Numbers Released

A newly released report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance said that the top insurance companies paid over $13.25 Billion in benefits in 2022. Read article here: Long-Term Care Insurance Benefits Paid $13.25 Billion to Policyholders in 2022.

LTC Insurance is Comprehensive

Much of those benefits paid for in-home caregivers, adult day care centers, and assisted living and memory care facilities, reducing the need for traditional nursing home care. 

The AALTCI says that about 73% of new Long-Term Care Insurance claims start with the policyholder receiving care in their own home. Some 18% begin their claim receiving benefits at an assisted living facility. Only 8% start benefits in a nursing home. 

There was an increase of about $700,000 increase in the amount of LTC Insurance benefits paid in 2021 compared to 2020. The AALTCI says this shows that these policies are working for American families.

LTC Insurance Pays

"Take note if you doubt the value of Long-Term Care Insurance protection or question whether insurers are paying claimants," says Jesse Slome, AALTCI's executive director.  

Since 2018 there has been a $2 Billion increase in the amount of Long-Term Care Insurance benefits paid by the top insurance companies. Long-Term Care Insurance is custom-designed, and policyholders select the amount of benefits they wish to have and if they want those benefits to grow with inflation. 

LTC Insurance is Custom Designed - Benefits Paid Vary Widely

As many consumers buy smaller plans or live in states where the cost of long-term health care is much less, the average yearly benefit nationwide is $36,600. However, long-term health care costs are rising rapidly due to the increased demand for care and higher labor costs. Since most people today purchase coverage in their 50s, they include inflation benefits. The total amount of benefits paid should start increasing rapidly in the future as these benefits increase in value over time. 

However, this is just one snapshot, as these numbers do not include data for those who have purchased hybrid or linked-benefit policies. These include life insurance or annuity policies that also pay for qualifying long-term health care needs.  

There is a wide variety of these types of policies; however, only those that meet federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of U.S. code offer comprehensive long-term care benefits that have the consumer protections required by federal law. 

When you include benefits paid by all types of long-term care-related plans, billions are being paid by insurance companies to help pay for quality long-term health care options, including in-home care, which most people desire.

More People Need Long-Term Health Care. Numbers Growing in the Future

Due to advances in medical science, greater longevity has created long-term care problems worldwide. Families get caught off guard when their parent needs help with daily living activities or require supervision due to dementia. Often, a family crisis develops when they find out that health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pays little or nothing toward most long-term health care services.  

Medicaid is not an option for everyone as that program will pay for long-term health care only if the individual has little or no income and assets. As a result, the individual will have to self-fund their care or family members; often, a daughter or daughter-in-law will become a caregiver, a role they are usually not trained or prepared to perform. 

Cost of Care Rising Nationwide

According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, professional long-term health care costs are increasing quickly nationwide. The costs vary depending on where the care recipient lives and the type of care required.

You can find the current and future cost of care services where you live, along with state-specific information on planning, tax information, and care options, on your state page of the calculator - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.

Long-Term Care - Financial and Family Problem

The need for long-term health care grows as you get older and start seeing a decline in your health, body, and mind. About 48% of U.S. adults who reach the age of 65 will need long-term care services, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. 

But the consequences of long-term care on American families are more than just a financial problem. Yes, long-term care is a significant cash flow problem; however, the effects on families are also considerable.

In 2021 41 million unpaid family caregivers were provided about 34 billion hours of care — worth over $470 Billion. There is a huge economic impact on these unpaid caregivers as they leave jobs or reduce hours in order to juggle their role of caregiver with their career.

However, there is more than just juggling work. Most of these family caregivers also have families of their own. Their spouses and children are impacted, creating stress, burden, and anxiety on everyone. 

Owning LTC Insurance is Owning a Solution

When you own an affordable Long-Term Care Insurance policy, you will have access to your choice of quality care options in all types of settings, including at home. These insurance benefits help reduce the dependence on the family, giving loved ones more time to be family instead of caregivers.

Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance also offers additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection - What is a Long-Term Care Partnership Policy? | LTC News.

Shared spousal benefits and policies with a return of premium or death benefits are also available. But to avoid a family crisis in the future, you need to have a policy in place now.

Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, so you need to have reasonably good health to obtain coverage in the first place. Every company has its own guidelines, so seek the help of a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who works with the major companies. 

Long-Term Care Insurance is paying out billions in benefits, but it can only help you and your family if you have a policy in place when you need it. The specialist will review your health, family history, and other factors and match you with the coverage at the best value. Most experts suggest doing so before retirement, ideally in your 40s or 50s.

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About the Author

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

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

As we age, we will eventually need help with basic daily tasks. Long-Term Care Insurance can provide access to quality care, improving your quality of life, even as your physical and cognitive health worsens.

Therefore, it is vital to be prepared for the effects of aging, and to look into the benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance, to ensure access to your choice of quality care without burdening your loved ones or draining your savings. 

Having the tax-free resources to pay for quality care will make the aging process a more positive and easier experience for you and your family. You worked hard for the money you have saved for your retirement, don't risk all your savings without preparing for the costs and burden of aging and the consequences that long-term health care will place on your and your loved ones.

Affordable LTC Insurance is the solution many families will use to give the entire family peace of mind. Aging happens, and being prepared will allow you to enjoy your retirement with less worry.

Questions? LTC NEWS Has Answers

LTC NEWS has many tools and resources that can help you in your research as you prepare for your future retirement and plan for the costs and burdens of aging and declining health.

Find a qualified specialist and get accurate quotes from all the top insurance companies.

Loved Ones Need Help Now?

Get help finding quality caregivers or long-term care facilities and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy. 

Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim

If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

If your parent or parents need help, get them quality care. LTC NEWS can help. We have put together several comprehensive guides to help you in your process.

Start by reading our guides -  

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