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Sizing up the statistics on LTC

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Q: It’s very helpful to be familiar with significant statistics when talking to a prospect. Can you please provide a short list that I can use?

A: Providing relevant statistics really helps in the sale. It indicates that you are educated about our industry and illustrates your knowledge and professionalism.

To obtain statistics, I turned to Dawn Helwig of the consulting firm of Milliman, Inc.; Jesse Slome of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance; and the Genworth 2008 Cost of Care Study. These are the facts that you should know. All of the sources they cited are available in the online version of this column, at

What can the representative do? Studies show that a 65-year-old today has a 70 percent chance of needing long term care services at some point during his or her lifetime.

Care costs & length

  • Home health aide services (non-Medicare certified): $19/hour
  • Home health aide services (Medicare certified) $38/hour
  • Assisted living facility (private one-bedroom) monthly average rate: $3,008
  • Nursing home (semi-private room): $187/day; (private room): $209/day
  • About 44 percent of people reaching age 65 are expected to enter a nursing home at least once in their lifetime. Of those who do enter a nursing home, about 53 percent will stay for one year or more.


  • 95% of claims lasted less than five years.
  • $3.5 billion in LTC insurance claims was paid in 2007.
  • 180,000 individuals received LTC insurance benefits in 2007.
  • A $1 million claim benefit for a single individual was recently surpassed.
  • Age of claimant for new claims opened in 2007: 32.3% ages 70 to 79; 55.2% age 80+.
  • Percentages of claims paid: 43% for home care; 30.5% for assisted living; 25.7% for nursing homes.

Targeting baby boomers

  • Probability of developing a disability in remaining lifetime (ages 60 to 64):male = 44%: female = 73%.
  • Ages when people apply: Under 44 =7%; 45-54 = 26%;55-64 = 50%; 65-74 = 15%;75 or older = 2%.

LTC sales general information

  • 8 million people are protected with LTC insurance.
  • 400,000 new Americans obtained LTC insurance coverage in 2007.
  • Average age of buyer = 57
  • Today’s 65 year old can expect to reach 83 years of age.


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