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John Hancock Announces Results of National Long-Term Care Cost of Care Study
Overall LTC Costs Increasing with Inflation

BOSTON, Nov. 20 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- John Hancock Life Insurance Company (John Hancock) today announced the results of an in-depth study of the 2008 costs of long-term care (LTC), which found that LTC costs have been increasing in line with inflation in recent years.

Including information from more than 11,000 care providers nationwide, the study of national care costs conducted by CareScout, based in Wellesley, MA, revealed average costs of care in the U.S. are roughly $75,000 annually for a private room in a nursing home; $67,000 annually for a semi-private room in a nursing home; and $35,000 annually for an assisted living facility, while the average cost of home care was found to be about $19 per hour.

A comparison of the 2008 national averages to those of a similar study conducted by Harris, Rothenberg International for John Hancock in 2002, indicates that the increases in costs over the past six years appear to be tracking inflation, as measured by the Consumer Price Index (CPI) during the same time period. According to the study, the average annual increase in the cost of long-term care is trending in line with the 3.3 percent average annual increase in the CPI during the same time period as noted below.

Specifically:

-- The 2008 average cost of a private nursing home room ($204 a day/ $74,460 annually) has risen an average 3.2 percent per year since 2002

-- The 2008 average cost of a semi-private nursing home room ($183 a day/ $66,795 annually) has risen an average 2.7 percent per year since 2002

-- The 2008 average cost for a month in an assisted living facility ($2,962 a month/ $35,544 annually) has risen an average 4 percent per year since 2002

-- The 2008 average cost for a home health aide ($19 hourly) has risen an average 1.4 percent per year since 2002

"In the 1990s the costs of care, particularly nursing home care, rose at a far faster pace, but with the expansion of other viable long-term care settings, such as home and community-based care, annual increases in the cost of care today appear to be stabilizing, falling in line with the general increase in inflation," said Marianne Harrison, President, John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance. "Nevertheless, at this rate baby boomers are looking at spending a startling $750,000 - $1,250,000 for a 3-5 year long-term care event 30 years from today.(1) That's why long-term care insurance is so important to securing a family's financial futures, especially in the tough economic times we are experiencing today."

During times of financial volatility, products that protect assets, such as long-term care insurance, can be extremely valuable explained Harrison. Owning a long-term care policy during a downturn protects people from having to sell investments, potentially at a loss, to pay for these services, she said.

"Our sales force is finding during this economy that many consumers who thought they could self-insure the risk of LTC are re-evaluating that decision," said Harrison.

For those consumers, Harrison recommended the following:

-- Consider LTC insurance when you are young and healthy, perhaps in your mid 40s or 50s, because the annual cost of LTC insurance is lower the younger and healthier you are.

-- Ask your financial advisor about LTC insurance, and/or check to see if your employer offers this coverage as premiums offered through group LTC insurance plans can be very affordable.

-- Buy the basic amount of coverage that is needed, instead of stretching for a "Cadillac" policy. For many people, a total benefit pool that will last 3 to 5 years with a daily benefit that reflects the current cost of care in their area and CPI-linked compound inflation option would provide strong, affordable coverage that will grow with time.

About the 2008 John Hancock Long-Term Care Cost of Care Survey

The John Hancock Cost of Care Survey was conducted by CareScout, based in Wellesley, MA, in 2008 and released in November 2008. The survey represents the costs of more than 11,000 providers across the U.S., including nursing homes, assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, and home care agencies. The trending results were developed by John Hancock through a comparison of the annual changes in the cost of care in all settings between 2002 and 2008.

About John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance

John Hancock is one of the largest providers of LTC insurance overall with more than 1 million LTC insurance clients and $1.4 billion of in-force LTC insurance premium.(2) The company holds $9.2 billion in LTC reserves and has paid $2 billion in LTC insurance claims.(3)

Having entered the retail LTC insurance market in 1987, John Hancock is one of the largest carriers of individual coverage in the country.(4) John Hancock began selling group LTC insurance in 1988 and today is the largest provider of employer-sponsored group LTC insurance in the U.S.(5)

About John Hancock Financial and Manulife Financial Corporation

John Hancock Financial is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation (the Company), a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn $385.3 billion (U.S. $363.5 billion) as at September 30, 2008.

Manulife Financial Corporation trades as 'MFC' on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under '0945' on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.

The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at www.johnhancock.com.

Long Term Care Insurance is underwritten by John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117


    (1) Based on the John Hancock Cost of Care Survey averages and the 30-year
        average annual increase in inflation as measured by the CPI of 4.2%

    (2) As of September 30, 2008, according to internal financial records

    (3) As of September 30, 2008, according to internal financial records

    (4) LIMRA International, U.S. Individual Long-Term Care Insurance Sales
        Survey, Fourth Quarter YTD 2007

    (5) LIMRA International, U.S. Group Long-Term Care Insurance Sales Survey,
        Fourth Quarter YTD 2007

SOURCE John Hancock Long-Term Care

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