Top 5 States for Long-Term Care Planning Increases
A public long-term care benefits program in Washington state may have caused a big increase in long-term care planning efforts throughout the Pacific Northwest.
Washington state triggered a rush to purchase stand-alone long-term care insurance and hybrid products that combine long-term care benefits with life insurance or annuities when it announced that it would impose a 0.58% payroll tax on workers who failed to have private LTC planning arrangements in place by Nov. 1, 2021.
The number of Idaho and Oregon residents who bought LTC products in 2021 also soared, even though residents of those states faced no legal pressure to plan for long-term care costs.
For a look at the five states with the biggest increases in the number of LTC products sold in 2021, the most recent year for which numbers are available, see the gallery.
What It Means
Publicity about new public LTC benefits programs, and payroll taxes, might push clients to plan for LTC costs.
The Washington state payroll tax exemption provision led to such strong LTC sales that insurers temporarily suspended new sales in Washington state because of concerns that Washington state insureds would be quick to drop their coverage.
The state ended up postponing the start of LTC program payroll tax collections from Jan. 1, 2022, until July 1, 2023, because of concerns about how the program was structured.
The number of LTC products sold in Idaho and Oregon increased to 3,922 in 2021, up 97% from the number sold in those states in 2020, according to a comparison of 2021 and 2020 National Association of Insurance Commissioners data.
For the United States as a whole, excluding Washington state, the number of LTC products sold increased 13% over that period, to 173,250.
Including Washington state, U.S. LTC product sales count increased 102%, to 316,202.
The number of stand-alone LTCI policies sold increased to 2,602, from 1,435, in Idaho and Oregon; to 115,788, from 2,545, in Washington state; and to 97,217, from 96,821, in U.S. states other than Washington state.
Total U.S. stand-alone LTCI policy sales increased to 213,005, from 99,466.