I’m convinced that sooner or later each one of us will be in need of long-term care.

The days of children housing aging parents are dwindling. Life expectancy is increasing. And diagnoses of age-related diseases like Alzheimer’s are on the rise. All of this leads to a need for protection against the prohibitively expensive costs of nursing homes, assisted living centers and in-home care.

Enter long-term care insurance.

In honor of LTC Awareness month, I wanted to share with you a few surprising facts related to the product, courtesy of Life Care Assurance Company:

    • National Guardian Life is the first company to enter the standalone LTCI market in nearly a decade with its new product, essential LTC.

    • Seventy-five (75) percent of new policy premiums used for LTCI coverage still come from standalone sales even though LTCI benefits available as riders on life policies represent the fastest growing segment of new sales within the LTCI market.

    • The Society of Actuaries LTC pricing research study shows that LTCI products sold today are priced much more conservatively, such that there is only a 10 percent chance of a rate increase on a policy bought today. And if a rate increase is needed in the future on these policies, it is likely to be around only 10 percent.

    • The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services puts the likelihood that the average American turning 65 will need some form of long-term care at 70 percent.

And, a recent AARP article states that, “[For the middle market] LTCI is probably the best way to preserve your assets for your heirs, spare them a large portion of the physical and financial burdens of your care, and enhance your chances of getting your personal choices of care met.”

I might disagree with this statement slightly. I believe for middle and affluent markets, LTCI is a smart investment. Why would your affluent client base be OK with leaving a portion of their liquid assets to the long-term care industry and not their heirs?

For the 70-million strong boomers out there, LTC is achieving new urgency. Are your clients protected against the cost of such care? Remember, there is a high cost of waiting.

LTC Awareness month was created to educate the masses about the existence of such a product, but also about the benefits it provides. How are you using November to inform your clients about LTCI?

I welcome your comments at eholbrook@alm.com.