Unfortunately, this is a national problem.
So what can you do if the increase is more than you can afford? You can choose to reduce your benefits under the policy, such as:
- Reduce your daily benefit
- Reduce the benefit period duration, such as from five years to two
- Reduce the amount of your optional inflation protections
You may also want to look at the Washington state Long-Term Care Partnership Program, a new option to help consumers pay for long-term care costs and avoid spending down or transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid.
Why have long-term care prices been going up so much in recent years?
Long term care insurance is a fairly new product, with many companies not offering it until the early 1990s. As a result, they had little experience to base their prices on, and early policies were priced significantly lower than they should have been, based on how the cost of claims and the fact that -- unlike life insurance, for example -- few people cancel the policies. People get the policies, knowing they may well need them when they're older, and they tend to keep them.