Long term care insurance premiums can range from about $700 a year to more than $13,000 per year, depending on the insured’s age and level of protection, an LTC insurance industry group says.

Buyers ages 50 to 54 have been paying as little as $694 and as much as $9,650 per year, with a mean annual cost of $2,236, according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, Westlake Village, Calif.

The range in annual costs for buyers ages 55 to 59 runs from $794 to $8,824.

Most buyers are in their 50s and early 60s, notes Jesse Slome, executive director of the AALTCI. “If you wait until age 65, you’ll pay quite a bit more for this coverage and may not be able to health qualify,” he says.

LTC insurance costs for insureds ages 65 to 69 run from $1,434 to $7,466 a year, with a mean cost of $3,815.

The highest costs, paid by insureds who are ages 75 and older when they apply for coverage, range from $6,733 to $13,039 per year.

“Buying when you are younger makes the protection significantly more affordable,” Slome says. “After you turn 50, costs for identical coverage can increase by between 5% and 8% for each year you delay.”