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Penn Treaty Urges Americans To Plan for Their Future During Long-Term Care Awareness Week
Date:11/5/2007

Long-term care insurance provides important financial protection and peace

of mind for an aging population

ALLENTOWN, Pa., Nov. 5 /PRNewswire/ -- Penn Treaty American Corporation, a pioneer in the long-term care insurance (LTCi) industry, will join with other leading LTCi providers to increase public awareness of long-term care options during the month of November.

Faced with an aging population and high costs for long-term care, U.S. Congress has formally designated November 4-10 "Long-Term Care Awareness Week," urging citizens of all ages to learn about the potential risks and costs of long-term care, and the options available. As a pioneer and innovator in the LTCi market for over 35 years, Penn Treaty applauds this effort and invites all Americans to explore the benefits of long-term care insurance in establishing a future financial plan.

"Penn Treaty is dedicated to improving the quality of life of the nation's seniors and we're excited to take part in this important campaign-the largest grassroots awareness effort ever undertaken by the long-term care industry," said William Hunt, president and chief executive officer of Penn Treaty American Corporation. "This effort is much needed, since the vast majority of Americans have not planned for their own long-term care needs."

A 2005 article published by the Center for Retirement Research estimates that about 91 percent of adults age 55 and over had yet to purchase private long-term care insurance. And a 2006 study by AARP revealed that 80 percent of Americans either do not know or estimate well below the cost of a nursing home stay.

Long-term care services can be quite expensive. A study by America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) shows the average annual nursing home cost is now $75,000, and by 2030, that cost may reach $207,000. With these costs in mind, planning for long-term care needs is crucial. LTCi can help protect millions of Americans against the financial risk of long-term care, improve their long-term care choices and help reduce reliance on public dollars.

"As baby boomers enter their retirement years, education about the benefits of long-term care insurance is necessary to ensure Americans know how this insurance can provide financial protection and improve their quality of life as they age," said Derrick Brickhouse, vice president, sales and marketing for Penn Treaty. "In fact, one in every two people will need long- term care - a startling statistic when considering that one in 1,200 people will have a house fire and 1 in 240 will have a major auto accident - two risks which people regularly insure against."

The need for this important coverage will only grow, as the number of Americans age 65 and older will exceed 71 million by 2030, according to the American Society on Aging. Of those who reach age 65, over 70 percent will need long-term care at some point in their lives.

The good news is policies for long-term care have become more affordable and adaptable over the years. While LTCi still includes nursing home care, new comprehensive policy coverage has expanded to include assisted living facilities and skilled home health care. The Congressional Research Service reported in 2001 that more than 80 percent of people receiving long-term care are in home- and community-based settings-not in traditional nursing homes.

Today, more than 10 million long-term care insurance policies have been purchased and about 100 insurance companies offer this coverage. Penn Treaty, through its insurance subsidiaries, serves approximately 150,000 policyholders with a variety of affordable insurance solutions.

"This industry-wide campaign will reach thousands of insurance and financial professionals who will each communicate with their clients about the need for long-term care planning," Brickhouse said. "We look forward to providing many more people with this important insurance protection."

About Penn Treaty American Corporation

Penn Treaty American Corporation, through its wholly owned direct and indirect subsidiaries, Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company, American Network Insurance Company, American Independent Network Insurance Company of New York, United Insurance Group Agency, Inc., Network Insurance Senior Health Division and Senior Financial Consultants Company, is primarily engaged in the underwriting, marketing and sale of individual and group accident and health insurance products, principally covering long-term nursing home and home health care. Additional information about the company can be viewed at http://www.penntreaty.com.


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SOURCE Penn Treaty American Corporation
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