What is Long Term Care Insurance?
Long Term Care Insurance is sold by agents to help you pay for nursing homes, assisted living and home health aides when you become unable to take care of yourself. Now, though, reports indicate that the long term care insurance industry is in financial turmoil, causing misery – in the form of steep premium increases – for many of the 7.3 million people who own long term care policies, equal to about a fifth of the U.S. population over 65. Many policyholders never saw the steep increases coming and are faced with an awful choice: Come up with the money to pay more—or walk away from their coverage. Many insureds were never told their rates could increase so drastically and suddenly when they purchased long term care coverage. Other reports indicate that carriers are increasingly denying claims in order to stem their losses. If you are over age 60 and live in Marin County or elsewhere in California and believe your agent misled you when you purchased a long term care policy or if your long term care claim has been denied, call Evans Law Firm Inc. today at 415-441-8669 for a free review of your policy. We handle cases in California only.
Staggering Premium Increases
For a variety of reasons, actuaries at long term care insurance carriers grossly underestimated the reserves necessary for future long term care claims. Insureds are living longer now as well meaning that the carriers will pay out benefits for a much longer period than anticipated when the coverage was created and marketed. As claims accelerated, insurers raised premiums – dramatically. Some insureds report sudden increases in the annual premiums of as much as 90% and the increases just keep coming. As the cost of long term care insurance skyrockets, sales of new policies are dwindling, which puts even greater pressure on the carriers’ bottom lines. Some carriers have stopped issuing long term care coverage altogether.
Too often, as well, insurance companies deny claims that policyholders were assured they were covered for. This is especially true for long term care insurance. Designed to help defray the mounting medical and nursing home costs that accompany old age, this insurance is often seen as a safety net for seniors without the resources of their own to pay thousands each month for nursing home care. When claims are denied, it can throw a senior’s financial plans into disarray, drain their dwindling assets, and compel sometimes struggling families to meet the uncovered costs. Policies were often sold deceptively too, and salespeople may make claims that the policy can’t back up or fail to disclose the danger of sudden premium hikes.
Protection for the Future
There are few easy answers when it comes to old age and end of life care, but seniors should at the very least be able to count on their long term care insurance, which they may have put tens of thousands of dollars into by the time they need it, to help them pay for the cost of a nursing home or retirement community. Being able to afford to stay in a skilled nursing or assisted living facility can often make all the difference for the care and comfort of a senior.
Some of the providers of long term care insurance in California are listed below. We do not mean to suggest in any way that these carriers have done anything wrong. Rather, the list is provided solely for our readers’ reference.
- AXA Equitable Life Insurance Company
- Bankers Life and Casualty Insurance Company
- CNA Financial Corporation
- Colonial Penn Life Insurance Company
- Genworth Financial
- Guardian Life Insurance Company
- John Hancock Life Insurance Company
- Lincoln National Life Insurance Company
- MassMutual/Massachusetts Life Insurance Company
- Minnesota Mutual Life Insurance Company
- Mutual of Omaha Life Insurance Company
- Nationwide Mutual Life Insurance Company
- New York Life Insurance Company
- Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company
- OneAmerica/American United Life Insurance Company (AUL)
- Pacific Life Insurance Company
- State Farm Life Insurance Company
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
If you believe that you or a loved one is over age 60 and lives in California and may have been the victim of an improperly administered long term care insurance policy, contact Ingrid Evans and the other California and Marin County financial elder abuse and insurance attorneys at the Evans Law Firm at (415) 441-8669, or online at www.evanslaw.com. Our firm also handles insurance fraud, elder abuse, nursing home abuse, and whistleblower cases.