Monday, December 6, 2010

Long Term Care Insurance - expect premium increases

I've long been skeptical of long term care insurance (LTCI) being priced properly.  A recent article in the New York Times noting MetLife's decision to stop issuing LTCI policies business gives a good example of my cause for concern.

The article states that, in addition to MetLife's LTCI problems
"The two leading players in the industry are trying to raise prices, too. Genworth Financial is seeking an 18 percent increase on older policies held by about 25 percent of its customers. And John Hancock has filed for permission to raise premiums for about 80 percent of its customers by an average of 40 percent. It has also temporarily stopped offering new long-term care insurance plans through employers while it tries to figure out what to charge."

The article goes on to say that 11 companies that were in the top 10 in market share at some point over the past decade have bailed out of the LTCI marketplace.

It hardly instills confidence that the two leading LTCI companies can't figure out what to charge for their insurance, and is no doubt unsettling for people who bought insurance from a company because of its high standing in the LTCI world to think that their premiums which are already not cheap might increase 20-40%.

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