Long-Term-Care Coverage Costlier for Women

One insurer is set to raise rates for women, and other carriers may soon follow.

Women thinking of buying long-term-care insurance should shop around sooner rather than later. Genworth in the coming months will become the first major long-term-care insurance provider to implement gender-specific pricing, and other carriers are likely to quickly follow suit.

Since women live longer and account for roughly two-thirds of long-term-care insurance claims, gender-specific pricing means that women applying for policies individually will pay significantly higher rates than men buying equivalent coverage. "Women have far greater need and are far more likely to use the benefits" of long-term-care insurance, says Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, an industry group. Now, he says, "the window is closing" for them to take advantage of current unisex rates for these policies.

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Eleanor Laise
Senior Editor, Kiplinger's Retirement Report
Laise covers retirement issues ranging from income investing and pension plans to long-term care and estate planning. She joined Kiplinger in 2011 from the Wall Street Journal, where as a staff reporter she covered mutual funds, retirement plans and other personal finance topics. Laise was previously a senior writer at SmartMoney magazine. She started her journalism career at Bloomberg Personal Finance magazine and holds a BA in English from Columbia University.