In general, the younger you are when you buy a long-term care insurance policy, the cheaper it will be.
That's because the company can invest your money for years before you might need it. And most older Americans will never need the most expensive nursing home care.
Insurers cannot increase your premiums on an existing policy without increasing it for everyone who holds the same policy and must get state approval.
Companies often offer a range of choices to those facing a premium increase. You will get a written list of those options and how they would affect your premium, with a telephone number to call for more information.
You might choose a paid-up policy worth about three-fourths of the amount you have paid in or cutting your coverage to keep the premium lower.
Coverage can be cut by reducing the number of years it would pay for long-term care, reducing the amount the policy would pay for care or reducing an "inflation factor" that protects against rising care cost over the years before you actually need the care.
Minnesota Department of Commerce, 651-296-2488 or 1-800-657-3602 outside metro area, or go to www.startribune.com/a1136
Minnesota Senior LinkAge Line, 1-800-333-2433.