It’s a natural tendency of consumers, especially in tough economic times, to put off planning for long term care, that being something they perceive they won’t need for many years.

And a slight but still quantifiable increase in overall LTCI prices since 2007 will make the sell just a bit more of a challenge.

Advisors need to emphasize that customers still need to look ahead and take advantage of their youth and better health to get the best deal for full coverage, explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Slome’s group has just announced a 2008 price index for LTCI policies.

A 55-year-old single individual considering long term care insurance protection can expect to pay about $709 per year for basic coverage, or $1,095 if they are married. Purchasing insurance at an earlier age provides vastly more coverage, at a lower price, than waiting until 65 to make the buy.

Slome says that while the temptation is there for today’s pre-retired customers to put off the purchase, they must realize that the longer they wait, they might lose their ability to qualify for locked-in preferred health benefits, or they simply might not be able to qualify at all.

Customers always face the risk of having a claim at a younger age, due to accidents or diseases which affect even those in their 50s, such as MS or Parkinson’s.

For more information on the price index, visit www.aaltci.org.