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Poor economy highlights the value of LTCI

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Boomers are seeing the value of long-term care insurance. Nearly three-quarters of LTCI buyers were 55 or older last year, compared with 69 percent in 2008, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Boomers are opting for lower benefits and longer elimination periods, too. Nearly all buyers (92.2 percent) selected a 90-day elimination period or longer, and 43 percent opted for daily benefits of $149 or less.

“Clearly the economy is having an impact on when individuals start their long-term care planning and what benefit levels and policy options they select,” Jesse Slome, executive director of AALTCI, said in a press release.

Another important trend in long-term care benefits is the increase in inflation growth options. Nearly half of buyers chose a 5 percent compound growth factor, according to the study. That can double or triple the cost of protection, according to Slome. However, buyers understand they are protecting against future risk, and are willing to pay more for this feature, he added.