Letters: The rising cost of long-term care

Re "Couple shocked by 90% rate hikes," Column, March 25

Change the names from "Mike and Judy Holtzman" to "Norm and Susan

Zareski" and from "John Hancock" to "CalPERS," and my wife and I could have been the subjects of David Lazarus' column on long-term care insurance and the shocking price increases. In our case, the projected increase by 2015 is 85%. This comes after several smaller increases over the last five to 10 years. What's going on here?

Norm Zareski
Palos Verdes Estates

I felt like I was reading a bit of personal history in this column. My long-term care policy rates have grown exponentially over the last several years. I bit the bullet as long as possible before taking reduced benefits for the last rate increase.

Ah, I am so happy that big government doesn't run the long-term care business. It would surely screw up the party for the private sector.

Richard J. Dovgin
Santa Barbara

Where do I start? First, long-term care insurance policies include a provision that rates can be adjusted in the future — so why all the diatribes about a premium increase?

You would expect the featured couple to have the ability to read and understand their policy. What if the couple never needs the coverage; will they ask for the return of their premiums?

I have a long-term care policy, and the company has requested a rate increase, which is awaiting approval from the insurance department. I will have the same option as the couple in the column.

But as usual, Lazarus cherry-picks the emotional issues, attacking the "horrible" insurance companies by noting that the couple have "never had a claim." This on insurance that usually does not have claims until the holder is unable to do certain activities of daily living.

Then, the columnist makes the feeble suggestion that the government might be able to do a better job. A laughable position, especially considering the current healthcare mess.

Ed Freeman

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