LTC insurance gains popularity as an employee benefit
As long-term care insurance becomes more expensive, yet more essential, to boomers and their children, one way to incorporate it into planning is as an employee benefit. Rob Davis of Long-Term Care Quote (www.long-termcarequote.com), who helps advisors and consumers research available LTC policies, says employers are starting to realize that they’re losing “tremendous amounts of money due to loss of productivity when an employee has to start taking care of a loved one who has fallen chronically ill.” As a result, he says, companies are beginning to offer LTC policies to employees and their family members.
Bureau of Labor Statistics data show that 3% of employees in larger companies (those with 100 or more employees) were offered LTC insurance as a benefit. In 2003, this had grown to 13% of full-time employees in “all private industry,” and 19% of full-time employees in those larger companies. The first group LTC policy contract, according to BLS, was written in 1987. It’s come a long way since then.
According to Davis, it’s a benefit that employees are asking for, even if they don’t purchase it for themselves. When it’s offered as a company benefit, it opens the door for employees to discuss it with older family members, who might otherwise avoid the subject. There’s also the appeal, he says, of employees being able to purchase a policy for themselves when they are in their 40s or 50s, “and pay it off by the time they retire.”