Thursday, January 29, 2009

Long-Term Care Insurance Producers Summit Planned

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the national professional organization, announced plans for the eighth National Long-Term Care Insurance Producers Summit.

The national conference which will focus on the marketing and selling of long-term care insurance as well as life insurance and annuity products that now offer long-term care benefits will be held November 15 and 16, 2009 at the Westin Crowne Center Hotel in Kansas City, MO.

The Summit is the premier long-term care insurance industry meeting for insurance and financial professionals who market long-term care solutions to individuals and the employer marketplace.

The Association is extending a special Pre-Early Registration offer--a $130 discount off the general registration fee of $325. In addition, for those who register before February 18th, the Association will provide two $25 credits toward room charges at the Westin in Kansas City. For details on this limited-time offer, contact Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the organization. Click here of call (818) 597-3227.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Long-Term Care Insurance: What Happens After They Buy

One of the most interesting aspects of my job is compiling the data for the annual Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook. This is a compilation of all the most relevant data we can compile ... acquire ... and share with members of the Association.

One of the questions I've been asked is "what happends after someone purchases long-term care insurance? How many people keep their policies? How many drop them? How many die?"

It is important information for several reasons. First, most people who purchase long-term care insurance understand the value of what they have purchased. Compared to other forms of insurance, fewer drop this protection that say life insurance or diability products. Thus, one can assure people who buy, they will likely have and keep this coverage should the need for benefits arise.

The 2009 Sourcebook will provide detailed (cumulative) data on what happens after people buy long-term care insurance protection. Here's what it will note based on data reported by the Indiana Partnership for Long-Term Care. Of some 43,475 policies purchased, some 8,086 have been dropped (35,412 are still in force).

The Indiana Partnership was implemented in 1993. Thus, in the 15 years since sales began, 82% of policies sold remain in-force.

Primary reasons for dropping the policies are:
Voluntary (2,016 or 25%)
Died (990 or 12.3%)
Unknown (2,543 or 31.5%)
Not Taken Up (2,381 or 29.5%)
Converted (78 or 1%)

A little tid bit worthy of including should you ever be asked the same question by a prospect or client.

For more information, visit the Association's Producer Resource Center where we will continually add new audios and information.

If you have suggestions for data you want included, send me an E-mail: Click Here.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Long Term Care Insurance Cost: What People Really Pay

How much did Americans pay for long-term care insurance in 2008? What the average age of buyers? At what ages did long-term care insurance policyholders begin their claims?

Each year the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance publishes an annual industry Sourcebook that is packed with the best facts and figures we can obtain. Some comes from independent research conducted by the Association, others from studies. Here are some findings that will be included.

Let me begin with a stated opinion. I dislike industry averages. Reporters like them and they use them regularly. But, without context, averages are meaningless. If I told you you couldn't control the temperature of the water in your shower, but that the average would be a balmy 80 degrees ... how would you feel if one minute it was 100 and the next it was 60. You get the picture.

The very same is true when it comes to long-term care insurance. For years, articles and experts talk about the average amount people pay for long-term care insurance. But, half of those who buy pay less than the average (they didn't get inferior protection) ... and half paid more (they didn't get ripped off). Okay, for those addicted to statistics, the average paid for individual long-term care insurance in 2008 will likely be about $1,900. Hope you are happy.

But for those who really want a more relevant perspective, new data that is reported in the Association's 2009 LTC Insurance Sourcebook, sheds more meaningful light. The data breaks down the range of premiums paid into age bands, showing the high and the low amount paid, as well as the mean.

Here are the findings for select age bands (2008 annual premiums paid by buyers in New York State):
Between ages 45-49 the low was $1,008 and the high was $6,445
Between ages 50-54 the low was $989 and the high was $6,407
Between ages 55-59 the low was $844 and the high was $6,939
between ages 60-64 the low was $1,125 and the high was $7,413
Between ages 65-69 the low was $1,883 and the high was $9,496

All information published in the Sourcebook or on this blog may be utilized with credit to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Court Approves Order to Protect Penn Treaty Policyholders

January 6, 2009: Pennsylvania Insurance Commissioner Joel Ario announced today that the Commonwealth Court approved his petition for an Order of Rehabilitation for Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Co. and its subsidiary, American Network Insurance Co.

The order places the company under the statutory control of the Pennsylvania Insurance Department. It also grants the commissioner direct authority to preserve the company's assets and oversee its current financial situation and operations, while continuing to pay policyholder claims.

"It is the Insurance Department's responsibility to take action when a company is in financially hazardous condition," Ario said. "Placing Penn Treaty into rehabilitation will make certain that long-term care policyholder claims are paid, helping to ensure continuity of care for a community in need. "We gave Penn Treaty time to find a buyer and infuse new capital. To date, the company has been unable to raise enough capital, so we must protect the company's assets and put policyholder protections into place. I want to assure policyholders that their policies remain in effect during this rehabilitation and that their premiums should continue to be paid in order for coverage to remain in place."

This rehabilitation is the first receivership action the department has taken in more than four years. Penn Treaty, headquartered in Allentown, provides long-term care insurance to more than 126,000 policyholders. Together, Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Co. and its subsidiary, American Network Insurance Co., write long-term care insurance in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

The Insurance Department will perform an independent, comprehensive evaluation of the company's finances. Based upon this review and analysis, the department then will determine the viability of a rehabilitation plan. Any plan will give payment priority to policyholder claims.
Policyholders and other interested parties will receive further information about the rehabilitation in the future. In the interim, policyholders with questions on claims or non-claim matters may use the following toll-free number: 800-362-0700, ext. 3190.

Media interested in discussing consumer protections for those purchasing long-term care insurance, can contact Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. Call 818-597-3227 or E-mail: Jesse Slome

Monday, January 5, 2009

Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Protection - What Most People Overlook

To prepare the 2009 Long-Term Care Insurance Sourcebook, which will be sent to all Association members in March, I take the time to review countless studies and reports.

One of the more interesting was published recently by the California Partnership for Long-Term Care. One of the requirements imposed on the initial four Partnership states (California, New York, Indiana and Connecticut) was the preparation of very detailed reports on buyers as well as utilization of policies. Thus, these provide some of the best snapshots of real situations ... what consumers choose and how they use benefits when needed.

I was involved with the launch of the California Partnership and I think many people either overlook or are not familiar with why the Partnership concept came about ... and why it is such a powerful solution for consumers. Bottom line: it is designed to help expand the market to "middle income" consumers who could afford shorter-duration policies with the added protection of being able to qualify for Medicaid while protecting a larger sum of assets from the spend-down requirement.

So, some of the interesting findings from the California report. Some 142,650 applications were initially submitted of which 118,390 resulted in issued policies (some 98,528 are currently active). To date, 2,082 policyholders have qualified to receive benefit payments ... and the total asset protection earned by policyholders who received benefits was $75,367,500 (which means the average payout was $36,199).

Some 187 policyholders exhuasted their benefits (722 died while in benefit) and of these 44 accessed Medicaid (Medi-Cal in California).

There is excellent data that looks at the duration of policy benefits by the people who exhausted their policy and then accessed Medi-Cal. We'll publish that and discuss it more.

But the bottomline message for those marketing Partnership protection, this is excellent coverage for those seeking more affordable plans of protection.