We understand that the reason for premium increases—and the choices we’re asking you to make about your long term care insurance policy—may not be easy to understand. We are providing this website in order to help you make a well-informed decision that best suits your budget and needs. If you’d rather talk to someone about your questions, you can call us at 1 866 419.0401, where our dedicated customer service team will be happy to help.
Why are you increasing my premiums?
How long term care insurance premiums are developed
When insurers set the premium prices for long term care insurance policies, they make assumptions about what will happen over the time period between when people purchase and ultimately use their policies. These assumptions help ensure that the premiums collected over time will sufficiently cover expected claims. Generally, policyholders do not submit claims for decades after purchasing long term care insurance, so these assumptions are made looking 30 or more years into the future.
Some key assumptions around the number of people that will claim, as well as the amount of money that will be available to pay those claims, determine the premium price for long term care insurance. These assumptions include, but are not limited to:
- When policyholders will start to need their insurance benefits and for how long
- How long policyholders will live
- How many policyholders will keep their policies
- Future interest rates, and
- Amount of eligible benefits that will be paid.
To initially set the premium price for long term care insurance, insurers complete a thorough assessment of these key assumptions to develop as accurate a price as possible.
However, over the course of 30 or more years, when the realities or projections of those assumptions change from the original assumptions, insurers may need to make changes to the premiums on existing policies in order to cover the expected claims.
Why premium increases on long term care insurance policies may be necessary
Over the lifetime of a policy, most premium dollars will be set aside to pay future claims. Remaining premium dollars are used to cover commissions, expenses and earnings. Although long term care insurance is originally priced to generate a profit, if claims are higher than expected, insurers may experience losses - which is the case for many of the policies for which we are seeking premium increases. The diagram below illustrates how premiums are intended to be used over the lifetime of a long term care insurance policy.
Intended allocation of premiums
The information and diagram above are intended to provide you a general overview of how premium dollars are allocated. The process is more complex than depicted and the actual results may vary depending on the outcome of certain factors.
Why premium increases are needed explained in 3 steps
Click to view step
The premiums set aside to pay claims earn interest, similar to a savings account.
Ideally, the amount of premiums set aside to pay claims, plus the interest earned, is equal to future claims.
Generally, industry experience has shown that many more people are keeping their policies than originally anticipated. While this shows that people truly value their coverage, it also leads to significantly more claims than anticipated.
If key assumptions, like the one above, do not turn out (or are not expected to turn out) as originally anticipated, the premiums set aside for claims may not be sufficient to cover future claims.
To restore balance, insurers may request premium increases to ensure that they are funded adequately to meet their responsibility to pay claims.
How we seek premium increases
First and foremost, we cannot change premiums for specific policyholders due to individual circumstances. We implement premium increases on a group of policies that have similar characteristics and benefits, and that are issued in the same state on the same policy form. In addition, long term care insurance is a "guaranteed renewable" product, which means that as long as you continue to pay the premium, we cannot cancel or change your policy, other than to adjust premiums as necessary.
In order to raise premiums, we need to submit actuarially-justified requests to the insurance regulators in each state* where the policies were sold. Because each state regulator may have different criteria for allowing an increase, the amount and timing of each increase varies by state. In states where we receive less than we requested, we will often submit a subsequent request for an additional premium increase.
* with the exception of Alaska
What are my options?
We understand that premium increases may create significant challenges for our policyholders and we are committed to helping you figure out what option may best meet your wants and needs.
If you are NOT currently receiving benefits*, you have several options from which to choose in order to maintain a premium pricing level that may better suit your needs and budget.
Generally speaking, our long term care insurance policyholders who receive a premium increase notification may select one of the following options:
Please note: Not all features and benefits are available in every state or to every policyholder. Your particular policy may have additional options that can be adjusted or applied as well.
When making this decision, please carefully review your policy and consider how changes to your policy will affect the long term care coverage you may need. You may want to talk through the options with your loved ones, financial advisor, or insurance agent.
Additionally, it may be helpful to consider the current cost of care in your area. Genworth's Cost of Care Survey is a source for this information that is updated annually.
If you are currently receiving benefits and you have a Waiver of Premium feature on your policy, you are not required to pay the increased premium at this time. If you recover and stop receiving benefits, you will be responsible for the increased future premium payments as they become due. For details, please review your policy.
How to adjust your coverage
If you want to maximize the value of your coverage while keeping premiums down, you may have a few options. You may be able to choose one option or a combination of options to balance your coverage needs with your budget.
If you adjust your policy benefits and later change your mind, you will need to notify us in writing within 60 days of our written confirmation of your benefit reduction. After that 60 days, they cannot be changed back to the benefits that were originally selected.
Why should I consider maintaining my coverage?
There are a number of factors that affect the possibility that you will need care such as age, gender, disability, health status and living arrangements. For details go to: LongTermCare.gov
As you evaluate what is best for you, we encourage you to review the current and projected cost of care in your area. For current cost of care information specific to your area, please visit our Cost of Care website.
Cost of Long Term Care Services
Shown here is the national annual median cost for long term care services. This includes the cost of private nursing home room, which now exceed $97,4551 annually.
Given that the average number of years people use any long term care services is 3 years2, total long term care costs can be substantial.
Annual Median Cost of Long Term Care Services1
Home Health Aide
Adult Day Health Care
Assisted Living Facility
Nursing Home (Semi-Private Room)
Nursing Home (Private Room)
2017 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, conducted by CareScout June 2017. Adult Day Health Care based on 5 days per week by 52 weeks. Home Health Care based on 44 hours per week by 52 weeks. Assisted Living Facility based on 12 months of care, private, one bedroom. Nursing Home Care based on 365 days of care.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. LongTermCare.gov. Accessed 08/01/2017.
Value of Long Term Care Insurance
Policyholders have access to long term care benefits far in excess of the premiums they pay.
Funds Available to Pay For Long Term Care (LTC) Services
Genworth Privileged Choice®. Assumes 56 Year-Old Male, issue state VA, Standard underwriting, $4,500 Monthly Benefit, four year Benefit Coverage Period, 90 day Elimination Period, 5% Inflation Protection. No claims incurred for 20 years. All values rounded to the nearest dollar. Assumes premiums did not change over the life of the policy. Premiums are not guaranteed. Payment of benefits is subject to all policy limitations and exclusions, including Daily/Monthly Benefit Maximums.
Genworth's commitment to our policyholders
Genworth is making a difference in the lives of our policyholders that have experienced a long term care event. On average, Genworth pays more than $6 million in benefits every day.
Should you become eligible to receive covered benefits under your policy, we want to assure you that we are fully committed to being there for you beyond the monetary value of your policy.
We make every effort to make the claims process as easy as possible, while adhering to policy provisions and claims procedures. We have a highly personalized claims process including:
- Prompt decision on your claim; most claims are decided within 30 days;
- A functional assessment of your care needs by licensed health care professionals so that an appropriate Plan of Care can be developed; and
- Assignment of a dedicated Senior Claim Representative to work with you or your legally authorized representative(s) throughout the entire claim period.
We also offer our policyholders, at no additional charge, assistance with identifying licensed facilities and home health care agencies in your local area. In addition, if you request, we can conduct a facility inquiry, before you enter the facility, to assess whether the facility has the appropriate license to receive benefits under your policies.
From respectful, empathetic claims-handling to helpful care coordination, Genworth is there when our policyholders need us most.
Below we are happy to share the experiences of some of our actual policyholders and their families:
in benefits paid*
Long Term Care Claims Experience Data for Genworth Life Insurance Company and Affiliates - December 1974 through December 31,2015
Frequently Asked Questions