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Why are women paying more for long-term care insurance?

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Whether they realize it or not, most married couples engage in little contests on a regular basis from who can complete the daily crossword faster to who can make the better dinner party appetizer. Indeed, more health-conscious couples may wage an ongoing contest as to who can run a faster mile or even boast better cholesterol levels.

While there is certainly nothing wrong with a little healthy competition, experts indicate that there is at least one area in which women might find it impossible to prevail despite their best efforts: the cost of long-term care insurance.

As unjust as this phenomenon might seem on the surface, experts indicate that it can actually be attributed to the very simple fact that women generally live longer than men and have a higher rate of chronic illnesses, two factors that are much more likely to necessitate care on a prolonged basis. Hence the sometimes major cost-differential between spouses when it comes to long-term care insurance.

In case you have a hard time believing it, consider that statistics from the U.S. Department of Health reveal that roughly 50 percent of all people 65 years old and up will require daily assistance as they age, and that the average total amount of long-term care expenses for men will total over $91,000 and over $182,000 for women.

This naturally raises the question as to what, if anything, women can do to secure long-term care at a reasonable price point.

According to experts, there are a few simple steps that can go a long way:

  • Research the possibility of securing a shared-care policy
  • Consider the purchase of a policy with a larger daily benefits a lower cost of living adjustment (COLA)
  • Explore options concerning a hybrid policy
  • Speak with objective advisors who can help devise a plan that may or may not include insurance

Source: Forbes, "7 ways women can cut the cost of long-term care insurance," Kimberly Foss and Bob Gertie, Jan. 10, 2017

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