Alzheimer’s disease, stroke and arthritis rank as the top causes of for long term care insurance claims according to research. Insurers paid $6.1 billion in claims according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Approximately 200,000 Americans receive benefit payments as a result of owning long term care insurance and a new study reveals the top causes of requests for claims.
“Insurers paid out $6.1 billion in benefit payments last year,” states Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.  “The majority of new claims are for care in the policyholders own home or in an assisted living community.”  Nursing home care accounts for about one in four new individual claims.

A new report issued by the Society of Actuaries examined the causes or reasons for new claims.  “Nearly one in four claims was initially attributable to Alzheimer’s disease,” Slome who is one of the nation’s leading long term care insurance experts explains.

Roughly one-in-10 new claims was the result of one of four conditions: stroke (9%), arthritis (9%), injury (9%) or circulatory problems (9%).  Other causes for claims were cancer (8%), nervous system (6%) or respiratory issues (5%).

Claims against long term care insurance policies tend to be initiated at older ages typically after one reaches age 80.  “People in their 50s and 60s may require long term care as a result of an injury,” Slome adds.  “You’d be surprised how many men fall off roofs or out of trees and take eight or nine months to recover.”

While most typically don’t need long term care until older ages, the Association recommends planning begin between the ages of 52 and 64.  “That is the best age to start planning because costs are lowest and you don’t risk being declined because of existing health conditions,” Slome explains.  “After Medicare kicks in people start seeing more doctors and their diagnosis can be the cause of an outright decline for this protection.”

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is a trade organization. The Association’s Consumer Information Center is the #1 source for information and can be accessed at