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Study Finds Group Long Term Care Insurance 15-36% More Expensive Than Individual
Date:9/5/2013

re stuck in the same rate class as everyone else. Right off the bat, the insurance coverage is more expensive with no more benefits to show for the cost. Most importantly, rates for group plans have historically been increased on existing customers by a higher percentage than individual plans and the rate increases have been more frequent. In an individual policy, buyers can sometimes get discounts of 10 to 20 percent, depending on their health and the company’s criteria. This can make a significant impact in the premium rate and save a lot of money over time. Jumping on the group plan at work may seem easy, but in the long run, could result in way overpaying for coverage and being in a much more unstable rate class.

LTC Tree also analyzed how the adverse selection in long term care insurance open enrollment periods at the workplace has led to consequences later for some large group plans. The unhealthy people opt for the group plans because they can’t qualify for the individual and the healthy opt for the less expensive individual plans. Many have been forced to raise rates, some as high as 200%, in order to compensate for the increasing cost of care for the higher risk group. When these increases occur, a healthy person who was clumped in with these policyholders in the beginning sees their rates raise again, at no fault of their own. Skipping the group plan and choosing an individual plan if the person has relatively good health will place them into a more stable rate class, reducing the risk that their premium rates will increase later.

Background research into a policy can help consumers avoid mistakes like buying a group plan at work – a move that seems extremely savvy at the time, but may actually put you at a disadvantage. Comparing multiple providers is one of the most important parts of buying long term care insurance, says Wilkins. No matter what you do, look into different options before buying the first policy offered to you.

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