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The spread between the lowest and highest cost for virtually identical long-term care insurance coverage varies as much as 243%, according to an analysis of Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index costs for 55-year-olds.

“This is the largest spread I can recall in recent years,” said Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, which releases the price index. “It’s rare to see one policy costing more than twice another policy when both are large insurers, but each company gets to set their own pricing and each has their own target market.”

The average annual premium for a long-term care insurance policy for a 55-year-old couple is $3,050, according to 2019 index. That cost is based on a policy that would have a potential combined benefit of more than $770,000 in coverage should the couple begin needing care at age 85. More than 65% of long-term care insurance policies are purchased by couples, according to the AALTCI.

For a single 55-year-old female, the average annual premium is $2,700, and for a single 55-year-old male, the average annual premium is $2,050.

“In general, costs increased slightly compared to our 2018 analysis, but for many insurers, there was no increase compared to the prior year,” Slome said.