via Wall Street Journal
People used to buy long-term-care insurance because they were scared. Now it is the policies themselves that are keeping buyers awake at night.
The coverage—which pays for some or all of the costs of nursing homes, assisted-living facilities and home health care for people unable to take care of themselves—has been coming under fire. Premiums have been rising, fewer insurers are selling the product, and new research is questioning whether many people even need it.
More than two-thirds of individuals 65 and older will require some kind of long-term care, according to experts. The median annual cost for a private nursing-home room is $91,250, and round-the-clock home care can top $170,000, according to a new study from Genworth Financial, the leading seller of the policies.
Yet sales of policies have been on a decline as consumers have reacted to higher prices for fewer benefits, which have left waves of upset policyholders, many who say they bought on the assumption their premiums would stay level over the years.
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