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Controlling Risk Mandates Health Insurance Reviews
Date:7/7/2009

CHICAGO, July 7 /PRNewswire/ -- Consumers struggling to re-build retirement funds, are concerned with controlling risk. When reviewing risks associated with the market, interest rates and inflation, often overlooked can be the potentially more devastating health risks. In fact, the cost of extended nursing care could wreak serious damage on a retirement fund.

Ironically, as consumers' need for long-term care (LTC) insurance has increased, the recessionary environment has prompted insurance companies to re-assess their own risk levels, making the coverage more difficult and expensive to obtain. "While an annual health insurance review is always helpful, today's risk-adverse environment makes the evaluation imperative," says Lisa Dickholtz of Dickholtz Wealth Management, suggesting weighing the trade-offs between the peace of mind a LTC policy might bring and the cost of premiums. "The review process needs to begin around age 50," says Dickholtz. "Waiting until you're 70, especially as insurance companies tighten their underwriting guidelines, may be too late."

In fact, a recent American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) report indicates risk adverse consumers are purchasing LTC insurance sooner rather than later. Of the 400,000 individuals who purchased long-term care insurance protection in 2008, 84% were younger than age 65.

Why the rush? The younger the applicant, the greater the chance of preferred health discounts that can reduce the cost of long-term care insurance by 10 to 20 percent each year, amounting to hundreds of dollars a year in savings for the average couple. In 2008, according to AALTCI, of the applicants between the ages 40 to 49, 63.2% were granted a preferred health discount. However, 45% of those age 70 to 79, and 70% of those over 80 were denied any kind of coverage for individual policies.

"The ideal LTC policy should factor in age, health, family hist
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SOURCE Dickholtz Wealth Management
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