Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Linked Long Term Care Insurance Attracting Younger Buyers

To protect against the risk of needing costly long-term care an increasing number of national insurance companies are offering protection that combines life insurance with potential long term care insurance benefits.   According to the 2012 Buyer Study conducted by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, these linked benefit (also called “combination”) products are gaining favor with individuals in their 40s and 50s.

The Association’s annual study of leading insurers found that 53 percent of buyers of these hybrid policies were under age 65 in 2011 compared to only 48 percent in 2010.   Some 42.5 percent of male and 38.5 percent of female buyers were between ages 55 and 64 explains Jesse Slome, director of the national trade group.  Nearly one in 10 buyers was between 45 and 54.
 “A linked benefit policy has advantages that many pre-retirement consumers find attractive,” Slome notes.  Policies can fund expenses when qualifying long-term care is needed at home or in a skilled care facility.  Some linked, or hybrid products, allow unused benefits to pass to named beneficiaries income tax-free.  “At a time when long-term care is increasingly top of mind, these life insurance-based solutions avoid the ‘use it or lose it’ risk associated with traditional long term care insurance,” says Chris Coudret, CLU, ChFC, Vice President, OneAmerica one of the nation’s leading insurers offering linked benefit solutions.  “In most cases, people make a single payment, effectively removing the risk of future premium increases.”
 The AALTCI study reported sales for the participating linked benefit insurers increased 14 percent in 2011 and the premium increased almost 20 percent.  To learn more or obtain long term care insurance costs from an Association member call (818) 597-3227 or visit the organization’s website www.aaltci.org.
Established in 1998, AALTCI is the national trade organization established to create heightened awareness regarding the importance of planning for long term care.  To access or read three free consumer guides outlining ways to reduce costs for long-term care insurance visit the Association website http://www.aaltci.org/long-term-care-insurance-costs/

Monday, April 23, 2012

Largest long term care insurance claims

The largest open long-term care insurance claim has reached $1.7 million in paid benefits, according to a just-released report from the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (www.AALTCI.org). The claimant, a woman, purchased coverage at age 43, paying an annual premium of $881. Three years later her long term care insurance claim began and has continued for almost 15 years. [Note: Payment of policy premiums ceases when an individual is receiving policy benefits.]

"Insurers paid some $6.6 billion in benefits to roughly 200,000 individuals last year,” explains Jesse Slome, Executive Director of the industry trade group that compiled the data from 10 leading long term care insurers. "Long-term care insurance claims can last for years and amount to hundreds of thousands of dollars.”

The association annually collects data on claims including the largest open claims (still being paid as of December 31, 2011). The second largest claim still open is for a male who purchased his long-term care insurance policy paying an annual premium of $3,374. Three years later his claim began and has continued for just over six years ($1. 2 million in benefits has already been paid for his care).

“Long-term care insurance is not the lottery,” Slome says. “A policy holder who paid $3,000 in premiums and received benefits exceeding $1.5 million is not a winner. But having this protection in place can certainly pay off and for thousands of Americans it increasingly is." According to the Association, just over 8 million Americans currently have some form of long-term care insurance protection in place.

One in 10 (10.4%) of new individual claims initiated during 2011 began before the claimant was 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 also a common reason younger people need this care for extended periods," Slome notes. 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."

Largest "Open" Long-Term Care Insurance Claims As Of December 31, 2011
Data from leading national long-term care insurance providers.
Credit: American Association for Long Term CareInsurance.

COMPANY A: Largest open claim: $1.7 million
Female -- purchased insurance at age 43
Length of Claim: 14 years, 9 months
Insurance Policy Premium: $881-per-year
Time from Policy Purchase to Claim Inception: 3 years 0 months

COMPANY A: Largest open claim: $1.2 million
Male -- purchased insurance at age 45
Length of Claim: 6 years, 1 month
Insurance Policy Premium: $3,374-per-year
Time from Policy Purchase to Claim Inception: 3 years 10 months

COMPANY B: Largest open claim: $1.12 million
Female – purchased insurance at age 56
Length of Claim: 12 years, 5 months
Insurance Policy Premium: $4,520-per-year
Time from Policy Purchase to Claim Inception: 0 years 3 months

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Long Term Care Insurance E-Brochures Launched

The first generic long term care insurance e-brochures designed to support insurance agents prospecting and sales efforts have been created by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. 

“So much prospecting and selling is being done over the phone and Internet that insurance agents need generic, educational tools to provide prospects and clients,” explains Jesse Slome, AALTCI’s executive director.  The new e-brochures are personalized with the agent’s name, contact information and photo.  “Personalized material is so important in terms of making a lasting impression to the long term care insurance prospect,” Slome adds.

The Association’s first two e-brochures deal with timely topic and are updated versions of the Association’s highly used print brochures.  “One explains simple ways to reduce the cost of long-term care insurance,” Slome notes.  “Consumers today are very price conscious and producers are having great success breaking through the misperception that long-term care insurance is expensive.”

The second focuses on long term care planning for women.  “Women are typically the decision influencers and there are millions of adult women living alone who should be interested in the subject,” Slome says.

Over 2.5 million long term care insurance print brochures have been distributed by the Association since it was established in 1998.  “There still is a great need for printed material,” Slome acknowledges, “but we live in a digital age of instant communication so e-brochures that can be personalized will grow in usage and acceptance.”
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the national trade organization exclusively focused on creating heightened consumer awareness and supporting insurance professionals who market long-term care solutions.