Compare Long-Term Care Insurance Cost for Different Ages

Thang Truong
Thang Truong
Updated on:

The cost of long-term care insurance can vary dramatically, depending on what company you choose and how much daily long-term care benefit you want, usually from $150 to $350, and for how long, usually from 2-6 years. It also depends on whether you choose a traditional policy or a hybrid policy (permanent life insurance combined with long-term care benefits) or an individual or a joint policy (without your spouse).

The two basic factors that influence the cost of long-term care insurance are age and gender. Let’s take a look and compare the costs for different ages and genders given all other variables being the same.

Compare Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance Cost for Individuals of Different Ages

Traditional long-term care insurance is only offered by a handful companies right now. If you buy long-term care insurance and it turns out that you never need long-term care, all the money you spent on premiums is kept by the insurance company and you don’t get anything. It’s the same principle as car insurance: you wouldn’t say you wasted your money if you never get into an accident, especially 70% of those 65 or older will need some kind of long-term care, but some people are uncomfortable with this. 

Among a few companies still offering traditional long-term care, National Guardian Life is one of the most reputable name. They are one of the 3 best traditional long-term care insurance companies that we recommend. We got several quotes from National Guardian Life for different ages and genders so that we can compare. All quotes are for $200 daily long-term care (LTC) benefit, 3 or 4 years LTC benefits, and for a non-smoking individual with good health. Below are annual premiums and you’ll pay premiums for 10 years.

AgeSexDaily LTC benefitDuration (years)Total LTC benefitsTraditional LTC
(National Guardian Life)

We can learn a few things from comparing the costs of traditional long-term care insurance for different ages and genders:

  • The younger you are, the lower the premiums you have
  • Long-term care insurance is more expensive for women than men

If you choose to add inflation protection, costs are even higher. And if you wait too long to apply for long-term care insurance, you face the possibility of being turned down. According to the Long-Term Care Association, 25% of those 60-69 are denied coverage, and 44% of those 70-79 are rejected. 

These rates are only estimates as rates vary depending on what state you live in, whether or not you’re in good health. Different companies also provide different rates, so if you’re interested in traditional long-term care insurance, be sure to shop around. 

>>MORE: The 3 Best Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

Compare Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance Cost for Individuals of Different Ages

If the thought of paying hundreds of dollars in premiums to an insurance company and possibly getting nothing in return makes you shudder, then consider a hybrid long-term care insurance policy. These are more expensive that traditional long-term care policies, but if you never need long-term care insurance, then your heirs get a nice tax-free death benefit. You can also ask for return of premiums as well.

Generally, these policies require either a lump sum payment or up to a ten year pay. Another great benefit of the hybrid long-term care insurance is that premiums never increases.

We got several quotes from Securian (with its SecureCare product), one of the 5 best hybrid long-term care insurance companies that we recommend, for different ages and genders so that we can compare. These quotes also for $200 LTC benefits, for 3 or 4 years, and for non-smoking individual with good health:

AgeSexDaily LTC benefitDuration (years)Total LTC benefitsHybrid LTC

As we expect, hybrid long-term care insurance is significant more expensive than traditional long-term care insurance, almost 6-7 times. Different from traditional long-term care insurance cost, hybrid long-term care insurance is more expensive for men than women.

It should be noted that this is a cash indemnity plan, which means that you get a monthly check for long-term care, in this case, $6,000 and you can spend the money however you see fit. Plans based on  a reimbursement model may be less expensive, but you’ll have to submit receipts every month. 

Rates vary according to how much life insurance you purchase, how old you are when you apply, and what state you live in. You’ll also choose whether or not you want inflation protection, although it’s probably worth it because the cost of health care keeps going up every year. However, one advantage of a hybrid policy is that the premiums are locked in, unlike traditional long-term care insurance. Some people have reported rate increases of over 150% on their traditional long-term care insurance premiums, leaving some with the difficult choice of either ponying up the extra money or letting the insurance lapse. 

Again, be sure to shop around to find the best rates for your case.

>>MORE: The 5 Best Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

The Pros and Cons of Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance

If we fail to perform at least 2 out of 6 activities of daily living (ADLs) such as eating, bathing, dressing, moving, toileting, and grooming, you need to have long-term care to ensure a comfortable life. If you don’t have long-term care insurance, you will have to pay for long-term care expenses out of your pocket. Long-term care insurance will cover all expenses of your long-term care such as nursing home, assisted living, or home care nurse.

The biggest benefits of long-term care insurance is that it pays for your long-term care when you need it. And 70% of people 65 or older will need some kind of long-term care, so your chance of needing long-term care is pretty high.

However, the biggest drawbacks of traditional long-term care insurance includes:

  • premiums can increase significantly. Many insurance companies have been sued in class action law suits because they increased traditional long-term care insurance so much. Several companies have stopped offering new policies or exited the market altogether
  • if you end up not needing long-term care, the premiums you have paid will be wasted

Learn more about the pros and cons of traditional long-term care insurance

The Pros and Cons of Hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance

If you don’t like the idea that you will not get anything back if you end up not needing long-term care insurance, you should consider hybrid long-term care insurance or often called linked life insurance. If you don’t need long-term care insurance after having paid up all premiums, you can either choose to have all premiums returned or leave a tax-free death benefits to your beneficiaries when you pass away. And that’s the biggest benefit of hybrid long-term care insurance

The biggest drawback of hybrid long-term care insurance is that it is very expensive. As we can see above, it can be 6-7 times more expensive than traditional long-term care insurance.

Learn more about the pros and cons of hybrid long-term care insurance

Are Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums Tax Deductible?

It is a simple question, yet the answer is quite complicated. First of all, in order to have the benefits of tax deductibility, the long-term care policy has to be “qualified”. Learn more about qualified long-term care insurance policy here.

If you are self-employed, the entire amount in the table below is deductible.

40 or less$430
Over 71$5,430

If you are not self-employed, you can calculate the amount that is tax-deductible as follows: get the long-term care insurance premiums, plus all unreimbursed medical expenses, anything above 10% of your AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) is tax-deductible.

You can learn more details in a more comprehensive article – the tax benefits of long-term care insurance.

Is Long-Term Life Insurance Worth It?

The short answer is yes, it is worth it. 70% of people 65 or older will need some kind of long-term care. The chance for you to need long-term care when you retire is a lot higher than your chance of having a car accident. If you are legally required to carry car insurance while driving, you should be required to have long-term care insurance while retiring.

You should buy long-term care insurance as early as you could. The earlier you buy, the cheaper it is for you. But it now so that you can thank yourself later. Without long-term care insurance when you retire, and when you need it, you will empty all of you retirement savings quickly and become bankrupt. Don’t do that to yourself.

Last Thoughts

The most important thing you can do to get the best rates for either traditional or hybrid long-term care insurance is to shop around, no matter which route you take. Be sure to get quotes from at least three different companies to determine which policy is right for you.

>>MORE: Compare Long-Term Care Insurance Quotes Online

Thang Truong

Thang Truong covers small business insurance and small business success at BravoPolicy. He is a licensed P&C insurance agent. Previously, he held product leadership positions at, Capital One, NerdWallet, and Mulberry Technology. He holds a MBA degree from UC Berkeley - Haas School of Business.

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