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Council sees progress in LTC sales. (Life/Health).

Long-term-care insurance is gaining in popularity and becoming a financial-planning tool thanks to more awareness of the costs of long-term care, according to a 64-page report released in late March by the American Council of Life Insurers.

The report says consumers are buying LTC policies at younger ages and that workers, including blue-collar employees in many industries, are enrolling in employer-sponsored LTC plans. Families with "strong cultures" of caring for elders are also buying coverage in growing numbers, said the report, "Passing the Trust to Private Long-Term-Care Insurance."

As a result of their experiences in caring for elderly people, some 37% of female baby boomers took action to plan for their own futures, and more than a third purchased additional life, health or LTC insurance, said the report. Almost half of Americans 45 and older have discussed their possible need for LTC insurance with adult children.

At least 22 states offer LTC insurance to their employees, and more than a third of large companies offer it as a benefit. Insurers, meanwhile, have paid out more than $11 billion in LTC benefits since they introduced the first LTC policies in 1972.

Middle-income Americans could be hardest hit if they don't take steps to prepare for LTC needs, because they are too well off for Medicaid but not wealthy enough to preserve their assets after paying LTC bills, said Allianz Life Insurance Co. of North America in a report last December.
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Comment:Council sees progress in LTC sales. (Life/Health).
Publication:Best's Review
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jun 1, 2003
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