While life insurance has long been priced by sex, companies that provide long-term care insurance (LTCI), mainly used to cover healthcare expenses in old age or for severe illness, have long avoided it. But for the first time this year, they will introduce gender-based pricing, starting with policies from Genworth Financial Inc, the nation's largest seller.
Long-term care is rapidly becoming one of the most important matters of financial security and asset protection. As a result, long-term care insurance (LTCI) is becoming more complicated and increasingly pricey.
Apparently, women should not delay when it comes to assessing their long-term care needs as LTCI policies start ratcheting rates up on the longer-living sex. This development was explored by Reuters in a recent article titled “Long-term care policies will soon cost more for women.”
Gender has long been a factor in the pricing of insurance policies, and always for very actuarial reasons. Why? Because women tend to live longer. Still the market for LTCI policies is trying to find its footing. As a consequence, at least one insurer is going to follow the actuarial numbers to higher rates.
Genworth Financial Inc., the largest seller of these LTCI products, announced that it will introduce new rates for new policies procured by women individually by as much as 20 to 40 percent. Note: for now, rates won’t increase on married couples purchasing the same policies and so that’s an important caveat, and strategy, if applicable.
This latest development is just one more reason why planning is important. It remains to be seen where the market will lead these policies, so do your homework to know what makes sense for you.
Reference: Reuters (February 14, 2013) “Long-term care policies will soon cost more for women”