About 400,000 people bought long term care insurance in 2008.

Researchers at the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, Westlake Village, Calif., have published that figure in a summary of results from a recent survey.

About 76% of the LTC insurance buyers chose policies that provide coverage for a period of 5 years or less, rather than more expensive policies without benefit period time limits.

The percentage of buyers choosing policies of 5 years or less rose from 71% in 2007.

AALTCI researchers also found that 84% of the 2008 individual buyers were under age 65.

Abut 8.2 million U.S. residents now have private LTC insurance bought on an individual basis from an insurance company or from a financial professional, or through an employer-sponsored plan, the AALTCI researchers report.

The age of LTC insureds is continuing to drop.

In 2000, the average age of an individual buying long-term care insurance was 67, AALTCI researchers report.