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Insurance Department invites public comment on long-term care insurance rate increases through Aug. 15

The public has until Aug. 15 to weigh in on potential changes to long-term care rate increases, the New Hampshire Insurance Department announced yesterday.

As described in a department press release, “long-term care insurance is a supplement to traditional health insurance” that supplements insurance for individuals who rely on assisted living, adult day care, hospice care and similar services.

Under the department’s existing proposal, policyholders’ ages would determine the caps on rate increases: Premium increases for those age 50 and younger would be capped at 50 percent, and “policyholders who are 90 and older would face a maximum annual premium increase of just 2 percent,” according to the release.

More details on the proposed rate limit caps can be found at nh.gov/insurance under the “Legal Information” tab, which is found in the left sidebar.

Comments on the changes can be submitted via mail or email: to the New Hampshire Insurance Department, c/o Deborah O’Loughlin, 21 S. Fruit St., Suite 14, Concord, 03301; or to Deborah.Oloughlin@ins.nh.gov.

Long-term care insurance increase may be a big challenge to policy holders and to those who are planning to buy long-term care insurance, however, I personally believe this is necessary so that long-term care insurance companies will continue to sell the products. A lot of providers have exited the market and ceased to sell ltci due to low investment return. Even the top long-term care insurance companies like Genworth (as listed in http://www.infolongtermcare.org/ltci-learning-center/top-long-term-care-insurance-carriers/) expressed the possibility of dropping LTCI sales if it does not meet its goals. However, the rate increase should not be implemented as a one-time, sudden action. Perhaps the insurance department can approved the increase in a staggered manner. Despite the difficulties and issues being faced by the long-term care industry, people still need this kind of protection against the devastating effects of ltc events.

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