The Definitive Annual Survey on Long Term Care Insurance

Once a year I report highlights from the annual “Milliman Long Term Care Insurance Survey”—and right on schedule, the latest survey has just been published in the July 2021 issue of Broker World magazine. This gold standard report for agents, which focuses on stand-alone long term care insurance, has been produced for 23 consecutive years. You may recall from my previous summaries that, although the report comes out in July, it covers the prior year’s sales as reported by insurers. 

New Sales in 2020

Twelve insurers reported $149 million in new 2020 annualized premium sales (including exercised Future Purchase Options), and 41,440 new policies. The policy count represents an 11.9 percent drop, which resulted in 9.7 percent less new premium than the same insurers sold in 2019.

Three insurers had an increase in new policies sold in 2020 vs. the prior year. 

Placement Rate

The placement rate dropped from 59.2 percent in 2019 to 57.8 percent in 2020. The survey mentions that difficulty in collecting underwriting information during the pandemic may have contributed to this decline. Placement rates are a function not only of an insurer declining an application, but also of policies applied for and not taken for other reasons.  

The survey isolated declination rates, reporting that declination rate by carrier varied from 11.9 to 38.4 percent. 

Purchase Age and Policy Design

The average issue age was 57.7, unchanged from 2019. 

The average benefit period on the new policies was 3.75 years, virtually unchanged from the previous 2 years’ figures. Fifty-three percent of new policies have a 3-year benefit.

The average maximum monthly benefit was $4,888, with 11% having $7,500/monthly benefit or more.


The seven companies which reported claims data had a claims increase of only 1.6 percent in 2020. This is attributable at least partly to the reduction of claims reported by two insurers. I speculate that the pandemic may have been responsible for this reduction.

Further Study

What I’ve listed above are the nuggets. However, the current survey, as in previous years, is absolutely chock-full of data and insights—which is why I’ll be digging deeper into it in the next few weeks, and will certainly welcome your questions!

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to discuss any aspect of long term care planning or long term care insurance you might need more information about. Baygroup Insurance can be contacted at or call us at 410-557-7907 for more information.