From the Desk of Lance Haver, Director of Civic Engagement for Philadelphia City Council
On the pages of a seldom-read weekly newspaper, the PA Bulletin, Genworth Insurance Company announced it is seeking a 130% increase on some of its long term care policies. On other policies the average proposed rate hike is 90.5%.
Other insurance companies, Prudential and American Life Insurance are seeking smaller rate increases by comparison; 17.6% and 25% respectively.
The proposed increases show the difficult situation older people face. Recent estimates project that most Americans over 65 will need about three years of long-term care; nursing home care runs roughly $72,000 per year, on average. Add it up and many Americans could be facing bills of $216,000 or more. And contrary to popular belief, it’s usually not covered by Medicare.
Those of us who are unprepared for the expenses may end up having to bankrupt ourselves to qualify for help. If so, we will not be able to leave an inheritance to our children.
Some of us have been advised to buy long term care policies, so that we will be able to afford help in our declining years. But rate increases like the ones proposed make it almost impossible for people to be able to afford the ever increasing premiums. And you can’t just buy a different policy, as policies are sold based on your age and health. If you tried to replace a policy, you would lose all the money you have paid to date.
If you are concerned about long term care costs and believe there must be a better solution than ever increasing premiums, bankruptcy and the end of inter-generational wealth building, please send a message to the Pennsylvania Insurance Department asking them to reject the proposed rate increases for these and other long term care policies, hold hearings on the issue and create a solution that will allow all of us to live our declining years with dignity.
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