Monday, June 29, 2009

Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Plan Is Short-Term Thinking

The new long-term care insurance proposal that Democrats have included in a Senate health overhaul bill would produce about $58 billion in revenue for the government over the next 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).

The $58 billion could be used to offset the cost of the national healthcare program. "Legislators must be salivating at a potential source of income with absolutely no potential for expenses for years to come," explains Jesse Slome, executive director, of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the industry professional trade organization.

Monthly premiums paid by individuals would account for the $58 billion. Premiums would vary by age but are expected to average about $65 per month ($780 a year). Under the proposed program, no one would be eligible for benefits until they have paid premiums for five years - a reason the CBO estimates the program would net revenue for the government for its first 10 years." The CBO generally does not estimate the cost of programs beyond 10 years, the period covered by procedural "pay-as-you-go" rules requiring legislation to be budget-neutral.

"When has a government entitlement program accurately estimated income and projected expenses," Slome queries. "The CBO already estimates that premiums will be insufficient and will likely need to be increased to maintain the program's solvency. The government already runs a disability insurance program through the Social Security Administration, but it is very difficult to qualify for that program and there is a backlog of people who have appealed Social Security's initial decline of their benefits."

According to the Association some 8.25 million Americans have already purchased long-term care insurance on an individual basis or through their employer. "Some 400,000 new policies are now sold each year," as more people understand the need to plan for the risk of needing care. Millions of others will be able to use the built-up value of their homes through a reverse mortgage.

"Another underfunded entitlement program where the real cost won't be known for 10 or more years simply shifts the financial obligation to the next generation," Slome says. "That's long-term care planning of the worst kind."

Friday, June 26, 2009

A Proven Way To Get Long Term Care Insurance Leads

I was delighted to arrive at work this morning to a fax from Randall Russo a member of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Randall faxed me three newspaper articles -- two of which resulted from his use of the free press releases available to Association members. Both included his name, his phone number and his E-mail address. That is incredible exposure. And, it was free.But here's the bottom line: Randall got a number of calls. Wrote two applications and started a relationship with a elder law attorney as a result of one of the articles.

One of the most significant benefits of membership in the Association is the free publicity material provided members. You are wasting an incredible opportunity if you don't take advantage of them.

To help you gain some exposure and potentially some leads a new press release has been added to the Producer's Resource Center. Below, I will explain how to access that page (in case you have forgotten).

The press release offers a free copy of the new guide just published by the Association. This consumer guide targets women and a copy is bound into issues of Sales Strategies magazine. Copies of the magazine are on their way to each member. Allow several weeks for delivery.But, you can see the brochure online.Click on this link:

If you post a news item online and it includes a live link to the Association's home page ( , we will mail you five copies of the new woman's guide for FREE. That will get you started filling initial calls.You can post it as part of your blog. You can submit an online news story to your local newspaper.We posted two versions of the press release. #15 has no link. #16 has a live link embedded.But I have posted instructions below for the web coding to create the live link to

Just send a copy of the webpage, blog or news article with the live link to my attention.

Go to:
Click on the "Members Only" tab.
Click on the "Publicity Tools" tab.If you cannot recall your Password - follow the instructions.


Use the wording below as the first paragraph of your story. Replace the current wording with this wording. It will create a live link to a new webpage. It will not take them away from your webpage or article.Women are significantly more likely to need long-term care and yet few are prepared, according to a new consumer guide published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
Congratulations to Randall. Get your name published. There are countless media in your area that will offer copies of a free guide for women. And, they have to include your name and contact information as part of the story.

That's a win for you.My best to all for a most productive summer.
Jesse Slome
Executive Director
American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

New Consumer Guide Addresses Women's Long-Term Care Planning Issues

A new consumer guide to long-term care insurance protection has just been published by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The eight-page booklet specifically addresses the issues and options facing women.

"Women have a far greater risk of needing long-term care and indeed two-thirds of all long-term care insurance benefits paid in 2008 result from care needs by women," explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the national trade organization. "Women also tend to be the ones who initiate the long-term care planning discussion and often are the decision makers when it comes to purchasing long-term care insurance."

Several facts outlined in the "Woman's Guide To Long-Term Care Insurance Protection" authored by Jesse Slome: Women over the age of 65 comprise 980,000 nursing home residents in the U.S. Only 337,000 men over age 65 are in nursing homes. Women are far more likely to suffer from Alzheimer's Disease which is the cause of the largest and most costly needs for long-term care.

The guide addresses important planning considerations for women who have spouses or partners as well as women who live alone. "Each have very specific planning needs and issues," Slome explains. "Married women face a likelihood of providing care for their spouse, who typically is older, or facing a very significant annual bill for care." Women who live alone lack the spouse or extended family members to assist with caregiving.

Copies of the guide can be viewed on the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance's website and may be purchased by insurance and financial professionals. To view a copy go to: or call the organization at 818-597-3227.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Long-Term Care Insurance Association Study Looks At Buyers of Life Insurance Plus LTC Benefits

Los Angeles, CA - June 23, 2009 -- Nearly half of individuals purchasing asset-based long-term care protection in 2008 were under age 65 according to the first national study of buyers. Two thirds (66%) of purchasers were women and the average single premium paid was just under $71,000 ($70,975). Research conducted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), the national trade organization, examined 2008 sales data for over 5,000 new policies.

"Asset-based long-term care insurance protection is becoming an increasingly popular way for individuals to protect against the risk," explains Jesse Slome, AALTCI's Executive Director. Asset-based long-term care policies offer the dual benefit of access to long-term care benefits as well as life insurance protection. "Many individuals find this coverage attractive because if they don't use their long-term care protection, their beneficiaries still benefit from the life insurance coverage," Slome explains.

The average single premium paid for an asset-based LTC policy in 2008 was $70,975, according to the Association study. This represented a four percent increase compared to 2007 when the average premium was $68,300. Just under half of policies (49.7%) had a base face amount of between $100,000 and $200,000. Some 30 percent had a face amount of life insurance protection of between $50,000 and $100,000. "Policies offer a long-term care insurance protection in multiples of the life insurance benefit," Slome explains.

Purchasers of asset-based LTC policies were almost equally divided between pre-65 (49%) and 65-or-older (51%). Just over 10 percent (11.2%) of purchasers were between ages 45 and 54. Exactly two-thirds of purchasers were women (66%). "Buyers are older than individuals purchasing traditional long-term care insurance protection," Slome notes. According to the Association's study, some 84 percent of buyers of traditional LTCi protection in 2008 were younger than age-65.

Asset-based long-term care protection and traditional LTC insurance policies share the requirement that applicants health qualify for coverage. The percentage of accepted applicants declined with age according to the study's findings. Some 70.2 percent of submitted policy applications by individuals between 45 and 54 were accepted. The percentage declined to 60.5 percent for applicants between ages 65 and 74.

"We anticipate the market for asset-based long-term care protection will increase in the years ahead," predicts Slome. "Leading insurers such as Genworth Financial and Lincoln Financial Distributors are focused on the growth of this market and policy sales."

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the national organization serving insurance and financial professionals who provide long-term care financing solutions. Consumers can obtain information from the organization's Consumer Information Center, the nation's leading resource for LTC insurance information. Insurance agents and financial professionals can visit the organization’s online Producer's Resource Center at

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Will The "Kennedy Legacy" Kill The Long-Term Care Insurance Industry

Will the (Ted) Kennedy Legacy - a healthcare plan that includes provisions for a government-offered long-term care insurance provision - kill the private long-term care insurance industry?

The stort answer is, yes it indeed could. After all, what a sweet proposal - pay $65 a month ($780 a year) for five years ($3,900) and you've got long-term care coverage. And, you don't even need to health qualify. Everyone qualifies.

If you don't think there's already interest, just do a Google search for "Kennedy long term care". As a long-time and highly successful public relations guys, I know how I would spin this story to the media and thus to consumers. "We can do this because of mass numbers, and because we are cutting out those pesky middlemen - the long-term care insurers and the commissions paid to agents which can be as much as ..." (I won't go on ... why make life easy for them ... though they have bright minds working on this).

Best of all, this is the perfect time to make something like this happen. Insurers are happy to be surviving (who isn't these days) ... and agents aren't organized. The Washington D.C.-based insurance lobbying groups have to contend with health insurance and you really don't want to offend Ted Kennedy or others when the stakes (health insurance) are so huge.

Is the Kennedy "plan" attackable. Of course it is. And, at so many levels ... and that's before even talking to the real bright minds. From what I understand, no actuaries have even been called in to assess the real price.

But, perhaps most important, the time to seize the opportunity to respond is short. Those advocating an alternative plan are organized. They have egos and if they see this is generating good press ... they'll make every effort to secure more.

I hesitated a while before writing this blog. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance does not lobby and personally I have no intentions to walk the halls of the Capital.

But I am truly concerned. And, I believe others with a vested interest in both protecting Americans and not saddling taxpayers with another entitlement that isn't properly priced and will ultimately balloon beyond any reasonable expectation should be concerned as well.

I have already seen a dozen online reports about the Kennedy bill (I'm sure it's also appeared in print editions). They all focus on the $65-a-month figure. As the publicity grows (and it will), why would any sane consumer buy something that costs more? They'll wait until they see what the government ends up doing.

Publicity builds momentum. Trust me, I introduced the Cabbage Patch Kids dolls ... and it wan't my brilliant work or that of the publicists who worked with me ... we just keep feeding a little fuel to the momentum. Before you know it, we had a national phenomenon and the cover of Time magazine.

What's my answer? I'm not really sure. I am reaching out to those I consider leaders in the industry. My personal commitment to members of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is to do the best I can to serve the members, the industry. But on a personal note, my goal isn't to be self-serving. I want to do what's right for our country's future ... and the lives of my five children who will be paying the bill for Senator Kennedy's legacy.

Lots of what happens in Washington never gets traction and so it's been easy to ignore. This one shouldn't be categorized as such.

I'll keep you posted and be interested in feedback and your thoughts. Send to my E-mail (click here).

Jesse Slome

Monday, June 8, 2009

New Study Examines Long-Term Care Insurance Claims

The largest open long-term care insurance claim has surpassed $1.2 million in paid benefits, according to a just-released report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The claimant, a woman, purchased coverage at age 43, paying an annual premium of $1,800. Three years later her claim began and has continued for almost 12 years. [Note: Payment of policy premiums ceases when an individual is receiving policy benefits.]

"As a result of increased longevity and medical advances, the need for long-term care is a new phenomenon for a generation of Americans," said Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the industry trade group. "The pervasive concern about purchasing long-term care insurance is will I ever use it?"

According to Association data 180,000 Americans received benefits from their long-term care insurance policy and some $8.5 billion in claims was paid in 2008. "This is a significant increase in benefits paid compared to the prior year," Slome explains. "Long-term care insurance is not the lottery. This is not something you really want to win; but having protection in place can certainly pay off and for thousands of people it increasingly is."

The organization collected data on claims including the largest open claims (still being paid as of December 31, 2008) paid by six of the nation's leading insurers. The second largest claim is by a woman who purchased her long-term care insurance policy at age 72, paying an annual premium of $12,766. Three years later her claim began and has continued for almost nine years ($1.02 million in benefits has already been paid for her nursing home care).

The largest claim being paid to a man exceeds $690,000. The individual purchased long-term care insurance protection through his employer at age 54, paying an annual premium of $2,560. The coverage was designed to pay benefits for five years. Two years later his claim began and has continued for almost seven years.

Nearly one in 10 (8.9%) of new individual claims initiated during 2008 prior to age 70 the study revealed. "While most long-term care insurance claims begin at older ages, typically in ones late 70s or 80s, accidents and illnesses are a common reason younger people need this care," Slome notes. The Association's study revealed that 30.5% of claims start between ages 70 and 79; some 60.6% after age 80. "Almost two-thirds of claimants receiving benefits (65%) are women," Slome reports, "and the largest percentage of benefit payments (42.0%) are for care in ones own home versus a nursing home (30.5%)."

The five most common reasons for a long-term care insurance claim, according to the Association, are Alzheimer's Disease, stroke, arthritis, circulatory issues or injury. "One in eight persons age 65 and over has Alzheimer's," Slome says. "The number of new cases is expected to increase to 450,000 a year by 2010 and to 615,000 new cases a year by 2030. It’s time for individuals to start planning for care should they need it in the future." The study shows that planning can certainly pay off.

The six largest claims will be published in the upcoming summer issue of LTCi Sales Strategies magazine which is sent to all Association members.

Readers of this blog: Let me know if you'd like to see more information on long-term care insurance claims.