The importance of long-term care insurance, which helps retirees cover the nearly inevitable expense of healthcare at nursing facilities and other institutions, is widely understood by seniors and those planning for retirement.
Unfortunately, premiums for these vital policies have been rising precipitously in tandem with skyrocketing medical costs.
In Florida, Blue Cross-Blue Shield LT care policyholders received a shock just recently: their premiums will rise an astounding 94% over the next three years. They’re lucking in a way: the company wanted a dizzying 280% boost. The state regulator had to quash that idea, but we don’t think policyholders felt much relief at the news – the notion itself likely disturbed much slumber.
The increase will be phased in via roughly equal tranches between now and 2021. After the full increase has been achieved, the line will be held on premiums for five years. That’s good news, but again, we don’t expect many relieved sighs: in effect, the good news has a time limit, too.
Over the period to 2021, policyholders will see their annual premiums rise by more than $1,000. Based on official figures, they currently pay around $1,454 per year. In three years’ time, the average policyholder can expect to be shelling out $2,820. Some couples will have their combined premiums boosted by well over twice that amount.
Developments in Florida mirror nationwide trends. One industry official said that the long-term care market has developed in ways that were not predicted when the policies were being devised. Costs are up, premiums are inadequate and the industry has no other option beyond raising premiums. Stay tuned for developments on this new political stormfront.
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Premiums skyrocket for long-term care insurance from Florida Blue, many others | South Florida Sun Sentinel