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New Hampshire Posts Consumer Guide to LTCI Rate Hike Filings

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What You Need to Know

  • New Hampshire wanted to limit increases for insureds ages 90 and over to 10%.
  • A court argued that the approach was too rigid and threw it out.
  • Insurers can now phase in any actuarially justified increase by pushing up premiums 20% per year for several years.

The New Hampshire Department of Insurance is trying to help state residents understand a new wave of long-term care insurance rate increase requests.

The department has posted a consumer rate increase process guide.

The state department was trying to set rate limits that would be looser for younger insureds and tighter for older insureds. The maximum increase for an insured ages 90 or older would have been 10%.

In 2021, the New Hampshire Supreme Court threw out the regulations, based on the argument that the department’s approach acted too much like a rate cap, rather than a flexible limit that could be adjusted to reflect an insurer’s solvency needs.

The department says that it’s now operating under different rules, and that many LTCI issuers are filing rate increase requests based on the new rules.

Christopher Nicolopoulos, the New Hampshire insurance commissioner, said in a comment that he wants consumers to be able to make informed decisions about LTCI coverage.

“Our goal at the NHID is for residents of the Granite State to be able to properly manage risk in a changing world,” Nicolopoulos said.

New Hampshire still limits LTCI increases to 20% in any one year, but an issuer can ask for enough 20% increases to bring the total increase up to the level needed to keep the block of policies solvent, based an actuaries’ calculations.

The new LTCI rate increase consumer guide includes a chart showing that one LTCI issuer — Transamerica — has received permission to increase premiums for some of its policies by 20% per year for six years straight, meaning that the premiums are on track to increase by a total of 120% over six years.

One factor affecting LTCI premiums is the underlying cost of long-term care. New Hampshire is one of the most expensive states for the cost of long-term care in the country, according to a recent Genworth long-term care services provider survey.

Correction: An earlier version of this article described the Genworth long-term care cost survey incorrectly. The survey reflects the underlying cost of care in each state.

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Chris Nicolopoulos (Photo: New Hampshire Insurance Department)