LTCI is critical for women — Don't miss the boat
By Emily Hutto
Women typically live longer than men. Recent research from the Society of Actuaries (SOA) reveals that by age 65, U.S. males in average health have a 40 percent chance of living to age 85. Females have more than a 50 percent chance. Women also tend to have more health problems than men do. Last year, Scientific American magazine cited research published in the European Journal of Health suggesting that women have higher rates of chronic diseases. (It doesn’t suggest why, though. It seems that’s still a medical mystery.)
If you’re a woman and you haven’t yet considered long-term care insurance, you have a bit of catching up to do. A study done by the American Association of Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) says that almost two-thirds of last year’s new LTCI claims were made by women. The New York Times posted a blog today that cited this study and quoted ProducersWEB contributor and AALTCI executive director Jesse Slome who said that women have more of a need for long-term care because of their life expectancy.
Slome also brought up the fact that women are more likely than men to live alone in their old age. The Administration of Aging says that 47 percent of female senior citizens who are 75 or older live alone.
“For those who do not know,” says financial advisor Suze Orman in a post on suntimes.com, “an LTC insurance policy covers expenses if you move into a nursing home, or home care if you no longer can do what they call “the activities of daily living,” such as feeding and clothing yourself. Your health insurance will not pay for it, Medicare in most cases will not pay for it and you really don’t want to be on Medicaid.”
In her blog, Orman reveals that she attempted to sign her mother up for long-term care insurance many times, but her mother would never sign the paperwork. She insisted that she would never need that kind of care in her old age.
“So here we are and now, my mom was obviously wrong,” writes Orman. “For the past several years, she has needed aides around the clock. She barely talks, and sometimes I don’t even think she really knows that I am sitting there in front of her.”
Her next sentence is the clencher: Orman pays $25,000 every month – yes, every month – to support her mother’s assisted living.
So, I’ll say it again. If you’re a woman and you haven’t yet considered long-term care insurance, you have a bit of catching up to do. And if you’re an LTCI advisor, share with us here how you convey the importance of long-term care to your female clientele.