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Long-Term Care Insurance Costs Skyrocketing

The price of long-term care insurance is skyrocketing in Oregon.

The Oregon Insurance Division has just approved rate increases averaging 26 percent for the 29,000 Oregonians who buy this type of insurance.

Insurance Division spokeswoman, Lisa Morawski, says the average requested increase was 45 percent before the state went through the approval process. "We encourage people to look at their policy," she said.

"Talk to their insurance company about the options. If there's a way to maybe reduce some of their benefits, so that they can still afford the premium. If people are thinking about this kind of insurance, it's definitely one option to pay for long-term care. There are other options as well, so it's not really for everybody. But we encourage people to talk to a financial adviser."

Long-term insurance rates are increasing because people are living longer and recent interest rates returns have been at historic lows. That holds down profits for insurance companies.

The insurance is used by people who expect to need help cooking, cleaning and living as they age.

Copyright 2014 Oregon Public Broadcasting