Is there any way to recover any of the money I have paid into a long term care insurance plan?

For almost 15 years I have paid around 2000 per year for a long term care
insurance. Now the company is raising the premium by 15 with a note that it
may not be the only increase. The options they give me are to accept a reduced
benefit, accept a lowered time period during which they would pay, or to opt out.
If I opt out I lose almost 30,000. The other two options are also unacceptable to
me. I entered this contract in good faith and have never had to use it, but I am
now nearing an age when I may need it. Is there any path by which I can get the
money back to reinvest elsewhere or am I just out of luck? It seems so unfair.

Asked on April 9, 2016 under Insurance Law, Maryland

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

Morally, it may be a scam. Legally, if they never contractually guaranteed you a certain premium or limited their increases, they would have the right to raise the premiums--you purchased the insurance without premium protection. Insurers can increase premiums, even by large percentages, so long as they did not contract to not do so. (E.g. before I got on my wife's health insurance, when I bought my own insurance as a self-employed attorney, my premiums were going up 15-20% and more per year.) Their motives may be exactly what you describe, but the law does not care about motives. So in the absence of some contractual limitation on the premiums or increases, they can do this.


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