Women might be the primary providers of long term care but they are also its primary recipients. It is exactly for this reason why insurance companies decided to increase long term care insurance premiums for policies sold to women. In an article published by The Wall Street Journal, Steve Zabel, Genworth Financial’s senior vice president for long-term-care insurance, said that insuring women bears greater risks than insuring men. This is because they make up the greater percentage of the population who needs long term care.
The following are the top three reasons why women should plan for long term care:
1. At least 75% of nursing home residents are women. Most of them have coronary heart disease brought about by long hours of caregiving for a spouse, parents and parents-in-law.
2. Women are more likely to receive care in nursing home, where services are more expensive. This is because they tend to outlive their husbands, so by the time they need care, they are on their own with no one else in the family to take care of them.
3. Women are more financially challenged than men. Because the husband tends to need long term care earlier than the wife, most of the couple’s conjugal assets are spent to pay for the husband’s care needs so when it is the wife’s turn to need care, there is very little left in their life savings.
Since it is highly probable that women will need long term care at some point, and since they tend to require services that they might not afford, it would be best if they plan how to pay for it. To date, there is no financing option for long term care that is as cost-effective as long term care insurance. Women must have a good insurance policy in place so by the time they need care, they won’t have to live on welfare.