Eight million Americans now own long-term care insurance according to a study released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance to mark the occasion of Long-Term Care Awareness Week, Nov. 4-10, 2007.
The study reported that the average age of buyers dropped below 60 for the first time. The average age of Americans purchasing individual long-term care insurance protection is now 58. That’s a significant change from as recently as 2000, when the average age was 67. Increased public understanding of the importance of planning prior to retirement and lower costs available at younger ages are factors impacting the trend.
A significant finding of the study, which compiled data from leading long-term care insurers, was that women accounted for slightly over two-thirds (66.3 percent) of individuals currently receiving benefits under a long-term care insurance policy. Insurers pay over $3.3 billion in yearly long-term care insurance benefits and 68.7 percent of these payments benefit women. Long-term care planning is especially important for women who are single, married, divorced or widowed because they are far more likely to need long-term care (than men) and, as the study now reveals, far more likely to benefit from their insurance protection.