Long-term insurance rates on the rise
MINNEAPOLIS -- The state Commerce Department is studying rates of long-term care insurance plans, after about half the estimated 90,000 Minnesotans with the insurance saw their premiums rise by 5 percent to 45 percent in the past two years.
Commerce Commissioner Glenn Wilson said Thursday the study will take two to three months.
Insurers say the increases were necessary because low interest rates have cut into their earnings on investments, and fewer people have let policies lapse than in the past.
But worried consumers are calling the Commerce Department.
"Many of the callers were surprised that the rates could go up, and some are worried that a few more increases like this and maybe they can't afford to keep their policies," he said.
Wilson said the department needs to offer better information to consumers to help them decide whether to buy the insurance. Industry experts say the average annual premium is about $1,400, a price that varies with age, health and the scope of coverage a consumer buys.