Genworth Financial has announced its intentions to reprice long term care insurance rates so that single women will be charged higher prices than men. Pricing changes are expected to be implemented in April 2013. The rates for women are expected to be 20% to 40% higher.
Genworth feels this change is necessary because according to research and claims data women tend to file 70% of all new long term care insurance claims. Women also tend to live on claim longer than men.
Until now, insurers have always used unisex pricing for long term care insurance even though coverage has been utilized by women far more often than men.
Sex-distinct pricing is the norm in other products such as life insurance (men pay more), and disability insurance (women pay more). Thus, consumers may accept Genworth's decision to charge women more than men. Genworth has received approvals for rate re-filings in about 2 dozen States.
Colorado and Montana, however, will not approve gender-based pricing.
It is unclear whether other long term care insurers will follow Genworth's lead. New York Life, for instance, has announced it has no intentions to alter its unisex pricing.
2016 Update: NY Life introduces gender based pricing and files for the most expensive long term care insurance policy ever.
Currently Genworth underwrites about 50% of new long term care insurance applications nationwide, including policies offered through AARP. Presently, Genworth's new business rates are among the more competitively priced rates available. Within a few months, however, these current low rates for single women offered through Genworth will in fact be higher.
Thus, if single women are considering long term care insurance today might be an opportune time to receive a quote and apply for coverage.
Jack Lenenberg, J.D.