$7.85 billion paid in LTC insurance benefits in 2014

Long-term care (LTC) insurance companies nationwide paid a record $7.85 billion in claim benefits to 250,000 people in 2014, according to a recent report.

“Total LTC insurance benefit payments increased by five percent from $7.5 billion paid the prior year,” Jesse Slome, director of the trade group  American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), said in a statement. Insurers paid $6.6 billion to some 264,000 policyholders in 2012, according to the group.

“Contrary to what most people think, the vast majority of LTC insurance pays for care in the home or in assisted living communities, not in skilled nursing homes,” Slome said. According to AALTCI research, half of all newly opened LTC insurance claims paid for care in the home.

AALTCI's 2015 Price Index study, released in January, revealed that costs for traditional LTC insurance policies increased about eight prcent compared with the previous year. The research also found that costs for virtually identical policy coverage varied by as much as 119 percent.

“A single female age 55 could pay as little as $873 a year or as much as $1,915, and once you buy coverage, you really don’t switch companies like you can with other types of insurance,” Slome said.

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