Depression and Alzheimer’s Link Motivates Boomers To Buy Long Term Care Insurance Younger

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Long Term Care Insurance is becoming a priority for younger Baby Boomers who are looking to avoid the high cost of long term care. LTC Tree explains how as depression becomes more common and the link between depression and Alzheimer's becomes better documented, more people are buying policies at an earlier age to protect their health and assets.

Buyers of Long Term Care Insurance are younger and healthier than ever.

According to LTC Tree, an industry leader in Long Term Care Insurance, June 2013 marks the youngest average age of Long Term Care Insurance buyers in the firm's 15-year history.

LTC Tree’s Long Term Care Insurance buyers’ average age over the years:

  •      In 1999, the average buyer was 67.3 years old.
  •      Today’s buyers are an average of 56.1 years old.

“There are a few elements of change that have led to the new normal,” says Drew Nichols, President of LTC Tree. “On one hand, insurance companies are tightening their standards of who is an acceptable risk, so by default, younger buyers are healthier and more likely to qualify. After all, the truth is that few of us get healthier as we age.”

Younger purchasers (those aged 45-55) are less likely to be on medications or have chronic conditions, and are therefore much more likely to be approved for final purchase after an application is submitted.

However, LTC Tree’s analytics team found another factor that has a huge influence on the recent change in Long Term Care Insurance acceptance rates.

“After cross-referencing data from the CDC, the British Journal of Psychiatry, and internal LTC Tree statistics, we found that there was an absolute explosion in intake of depression medication from 1990 to 2008 with both men and women and now research is showing a link between depression and Alzheimer’s. This connection is one of the main reasons for the recent tightening of Long Term Care Insurance underwriting that we have seen with our clients,” says Darrick Wilkins, CEO.

Depression Explodes in Population

  •      In 1990, 4.05% of women 45 years and over reported taking prescription medication for depression. By 2008, that number had exploded to 19.6%, a shocking 484% increase.

  •      In 1990, 2.3% of men 45 years and over reported taking prescription medication for depression. By 2008, that number had exploded to 9.5%, a 413% increase.

This major surge in depression among adults has major implications for the costly long term care crisis that is beginning to unfold across the nation.

Depression Leads to Alzheimer’s

The British Journal of Psychiatry conducted a five-year study of nearly 50,000 people and found that people who suffer from depression are twice as likely to develop cognitive diseases like Alzheimer’s.

Depression is one of the fastest growing root causes of needing long term care. “It is very common for depression to turn into a dementia-type illness as a person ages, which can hinder acceptance for Long Term Care Insurance as companies become stricter in who they will insure,” Wilkins explains.

As our society becomes dramatically more depressed, we also become much more likely to develop other cognitive conditions that require long term care services. Given the higher likelihood of need, younger buyers are becoming more common as baby boomers race to get insured ahead of the looming health crisis.

About LTC Tree

LTC Tree is a nationwide network of licensed agents based in Atlanta, Georgia whose goal is to help educate people about their Long Term Care Insurance options. LTC Tree helps clients shop all the major companies to find the best Long Term Care Insurance plan at the best price and strives to give consumers a laid back, no pressure process of buying insurance.

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Darrick Wilkins
LTC Tree
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