Buyers of true group long term care insurance tended to be olderin 2009, and selected less costly policy features, according to newanalysis from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance(AALTCI).

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"Costs for health insurance and other employee benefit programsincreased dramatically last year so it's not surprising thatemployees were older and more cost-conscious when it came tolong-term care coverage," said Jesse Slome, executive director ofAALTCI, in a released statement. "Younger employees likely decidedthey could postpone the decision."

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More than one-third (37.2 percent) of newgroup buyers were age 55 or older in 2009, compared to 28percent in 2008.

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Daily Benefit

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Almost half (45.4 percent) of new enrollees selected dailybenefit levels of $149 or less --roughly an 8 percent increasecompared to the prior year.

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"While there was an increase among those selecting less costlyoptions, there was a slight increase in those selecting more costlyplans offering daily benefits of $200 or more," Slome added. "Inaddition, there was a slight increase in the number of newenrollees selecting longer benefit periods, which are morecostly."

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Benefit Period

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The most common benefit period selected remains five years,according to the study.

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Some 66.1 percent of buyers selected coverage designed to paybenefits for at least five years (up from 61.0 percent the prioryear). Unlike individual long-term care insurance policies wherenearly half of buyers (64.5 percent) purchased a five percentannual inflation growth option, only 15,4 percent selected thisoption with the vast majority (83.6 percent) selecting an optionenabling them to increase benefit levels periodically in futureyears.

New Claims

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Some 6.4 percent of new claims were initiated by individuals age59 or younger. Only 1.8 percent of claims made against individualLTC insurance policies were by individuals age 59 or less. Nearlyhalf (49 percent) of benefit dollars paid for new group policyclaimants were for home care with only 30 percent for nursing homecare.

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The complete findings of the survey are contained in the 2010Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook published by the AmericanAssociation for Long-Term Care Insurance. For more informationvisit the organization's Website.

Issue Age20092008
Under 358.8%1.2%
35-4419%24%
45-5435%36%
55-6430.7%23%
65-746.1%4.5%
75 or older0.4%0.5%
Daily Benefit20092008
Less than $9914.4%9%
$100-$14931%33%
$150-$19920.4%25%
$200 or more34.2%33%
Benefit Period20092008
3 Years22.1%27%
5 Years66.1%61%

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