Data shows that Americans are buying fewer LTC policies year over year.
Americans are no longer purchasing traditional long term care insurance at the same rate they used to. In 2018, they bought only about 60,000 stand-alone policies in that category. That represents a drop of 13 percent year over year.
Falling sales mean fewer insurance companies are participating in this coverage sector.
Only about 15 carriers actively sold traditional long term care insurance policies last year. Moreover, among them, five took in over three quarters of the entire market, as measured in premiums. This was published in the annual authoritative survey of the LTC insurance sector. It is created by independent consultant Claude Thau along with Al Schmitz and Chris Giese from the Milliman Inc. actuarial firm. The report was originally published in Broker World magazine.
That said, while stand-alone LTC policies are steadily and rapidly declining, combination products are becoming more appealing. Consumers are still purchasing combo products that include long term care benefits to other products such as life insurance and annuities.
While traditional long term care insurance sales fell, hybrid policy sales are on the rise.
The LIMRA data firm’s stats showed that there were an estimated 260,000 hybrid policies sold in 2017. The data for 2018 in terms of hybrid policy sales has yet to be released.
That said, even though hybrid policies are selling at a much higher rate than traditional ones, industry sources say that even those sales aren’t explosive. Moreover, they indicated that they flattened out slightly last year.
Traditional LTC policy sales now represent only 20 percent of the total market for that type of coverage.
There are currently approximately 42 million Americans within the age span in which most people purchase this coverage for the first time (aged 55 through 64 years old). Among Americans of all ages, about 7 million own coverage. This means that there is tremendous room for new sales.
The report’s authors estimated that their survey covered about 90 percent of the 60,000 policy sales made in 2018 within the traditional long term care insurance market. Around 15 percent of those policies were sold through employers. Another 8 percent were sold through other forms of group.