The 24-Year-Old LTCI Claimant

The odds are usually in favor of younger LTCI policyholders, but not always. (AP Photo/Bernd Kammerer) The odds are usually in favor of younger LTCI policyholders, but not always. (AP Photo/Bernd Kammerer)

Do "young invincibles" need long-term care insurance (LTCI)?

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), Westlake, Village, Calif., has come up with evidence that they might.

LTCI carriers have responded to higher-than-expected claims costs by trying to sell fewer policies to older consumers and more to younger consumers.

Awareness has been one obstacle. Traditionally, LTCI marketing specialists have argued that consumers start learning about long-term care (LTC) costs and the concept of LTCI coverage when their own aunts, uncles and parents start to need care.

Younger consumers' tight budgets have been another obstacle. Many younger consumers have a hard time paying for basic health insurance or disability insurance, let alone LTCI coverage.

Still another obstacle has been the idea that young people are so unlikely to need LTC services that they might be better off buying meteor strike protection insurance, or even space alien attack insurance, than LTCI policies.

AALTCI has tried to counter the argument that younger consumers have no need for LTCI coverage by asking 4 LTCI carriers to describe some of their youngest male LTCI benefits recipients and their youngest female LTCI benefits recipients with claims that are still being paid.

AALTCI found that the 4 carriers' young female LTCI claimants ranged in age from 28 to 42 when they bought their policies and from 28 to 46 when they filed their claims.

The amount of benefits paid in connection with those claims has ranged from $107,500 to $730,200.

The carriers' young male LTCI claimants ranged in age from 21 to 38 when they bought their policies and from 24 to 38 when they filed their claims.

The amounts paid in connection with the young men's LTCI claims have ranged from $92,500 to $703,000.

The man who bought his policy at age 21 is the one who filed his claim at age 24. His carrier has paid $344,500 in benefits in connection with his claim. The claim has been open for more than 6 years.

AALTCI Executive Director Jesse Slome notes that younger claimants may be using their LTC coverage to pay for home health care or community-based care, such as adult daycare, rather than nursing home care.

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