Federal employees have had access to a group long-term care insurance plan backed by two of the major carriers in this field for several years. Interestingly, if an individual is in reasonably good health, they could often get a better deal by going directly to those two carriers to purchase an individual policy instead of choosing the government plan.

Recently the Office of Personnel Management announced a rate increase for the government plan because the contract for the next seven years had come up for bid. The contract was awarded to only one of the major carriers, John Hancock. The rate increase for current policyholders has been announced as being between 5% and 25%.

Of course, this makes the government program even less attractive to many when factoring in the current rate increase. My recommendation to prospective buyers of the federal plan is to be sure to compare premiums with the major insurers of individual plans as it makes more sense than ever to do so.