Often, a married couple will be able to afford coverage for only one spouse. Looking at statistics alone, the wife should purchase the policy.
In a sense, buying insurance is always about playing the odds. Traditionally, when the husband was the primary breadwinner, life insurance was taken out on his life. The tables are reversed, however, when it comes to long-term care insurance.
What if a married couple can only afford coverage for one spouse?
ElderLawAnswers.com recently took up this topic and weighed in on this question: “Which Spouse Should Get Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage?” In brief, women tend to live longer and therefore require more care. While it is far from a sure thing, a married couple might be best served by providing long-term care insurance for the wife who also is most likely to be the surviving spouse.
Granted, the facts of relative longevity are quite familiar to insurance companies these days and women often require higher premiums, so the cost-benefit analysis begins. Then again, many more companies are working to offer coverage options to work for both spouses.
You can find a great deal of options, if you just look around the market. On the other hand, statistics do peak volumes.
Reference: ElderLawAnswers.com (modified June 11, 2013) “Which Spouse Should Get Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage?”