When purchasing a long term care insurance policy, a wise decision is made to plan ahead to have options for helping with the growing costs of long term care if and when they may be needed.
Over the years, many factors have changed that have impacted the pricing of long term care insurance policies. For example, the cost of long term care services continues to increase and today, people are living longer and the need for long term care is growing rapidly. Due to these types of changes, insurers now expect to pay higher amounts of benefits than had been originally anticipated.
This anticipated increase in expected benefits has led to the need for insurers to increase premium rates on inforce (existing) policies. Not unlike what most other long term care insurance carriers have already done, MassMutual has started what we anticipate to be a long, multi-step process to initiate a premium rate increase on some existing long term care insurance policies.
We cannot be certain of the outcome in each state across the U.S. as increases may be more or less than initial requests, and a discussion of potential increase amounts might lead policyowners to take actions that may not be in their best long term interest. While we understand that this can create some anxiety, we would not want policyowners to make changes to their policy based on potential increase amounts that very well may not reflect the actual increase for their policy, if any.
If a policy is affected, policyowners will be notified via mail about three months before the effective date with details and some options that may be available. It is not until that point that information will be available about a specific policy so that policyowners can best evaluate their options.
The need for care can be one of the most significant challenges a person can face, both personally and financially. We have seen the difference that long term care insurance coverage has made in the lives of our customers and their family members. Although the cost for this insurance may be increasing for some policyowners, it provides valuable coverage that may not be available from health insurance or government programs.
If policyowners have questions, they are encouraged to contact their financial professional or MassMutual’s Long Term Care Administrative Office at 888-505-0394. Although they may not have any additional information about the specific impact to a policy, if any, they are the most accurate sources of information.