Dear Harry:

For the longest time, you have advocated long-term-care insurance for older people. We decided to investigate further when I reached 60 in August. Unfortunately, we were too indecisive, and the company we chose got out of the business in the fall before we could sign up. We do have a second choice, but they do not issue non-cancelable or guaranteed renewable policies. There's another company with a similar insurance policy that will issue guaranteed renewable policies only. Should we keep looking for a company that will give us both provisions or go for this one? Some companies are considering abandoning long-term-care insurance, so please answer us as soon as possible. Thanks.

What Harry says: For those readers unfamiliar with the terms, a brief definition is in order. Non-cancelable insurance provides for a guaranteed premium that cannot be raised during the life of the policy. Guaranteed renewable policies provide that the premiums may be raised, but only if they are raised for everyone in the entire class of policyholders. It's pretty tough to get a big increase through the insurance department. I prefer the non-cancelable policy, if you can get it. There's no need for both provisions. The premium is probably a bit higher on the non-cancelable policy, but it's worth it. I think a lot of companies will be getting out of this coverage because the estimates for payments to policyholders have too many unfavorable unknowns. Go get it!

Write Harry Gross c/o the Daily News, 400 N. Broad St., Philadelphia, PA 19130. Harry urges all his readers to give blood: Contact the American Red Cross at 1-800-Red Cross.