The likelier an event, the less profitable it is to insure. So when MetLife backed out of selling long term care insurance, it sent a signal that the risk of needing expensive medical care in old age has increased. Nursing home care or other long term care services would come on top of costs for Medicare Part B premium, Medigap coverage, and prescription drug coverage.

According to government figures, at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will eventually require some form of help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom and 40% will need a nursing home. Nursing homes now cost $80,000 a year on average.

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