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A growing trend

Three percent of every insurance premiums paid in Ohio in 2006 came from specialty insurance policies like cancer insurance and long-term care insurance. That translates to more than 600,000 people with some type of supplemental policy.

At AFLAC, specialty policies such as cancer insurance are among the fastest-growing products the company presents, said Michelle Devlin, a senior manager of product marketing for AFLAC. The policies provide cash benefits for things left out of chief medical insurance.

She said, "We've found that over time, major medical insurance doesn't always cover everything. People still have to pay for everyday expenses. They have to get groceries and things like that. While people have insurance that might cover health care costs, [cancer] policies step in to help with the other things."

Long-term care insurance policies are also considered an additional supplemental policy, said Becky Waggamon, of Webb Insurance Agency in Lima. She said, the majority of people who purchase long-term care insurance are more than 50 years old. Moreover, looking to protect their assets should they need to pay for long-term care, such as in-home hospice or nursing home care?

Long-term care insurance can be helpful, Waggamon said, because of the potential costs of long-term care. For instance, nursing homes can cost up to $185 to $200 a day, she said. Medicaid will pay for these expenses, only if a person's assets are worth less than $5,000. With long-term care insurance, people can keep away from liquidating their assets or selling their homes to pay for that level of care.

Waggamon said, "People want to pass on to their kids what they've worked hard for."



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