Monday, May 26, 2014

Should Long Term Care Insurance Cost Women More?

There is sound reasoning that explains why women pay more for long term care insurance contends one of the nation’s leading long term care insurance experts.

“Prices for insurance are based on risk which is why men pay more for life insurance and bad drivers pay more than good drivers,” declares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). Slome was reacting to the National Women’s Law Center administrative complaint filed against Genworth, John Hancock, Transamerica and Mutual of Omaha on the grounds that gender-based premiums for long-term care insurance violated a provision of the Affordable Care Act.

“I wonder if they realize that men pay more for Medicare Supplement insurance, which augments Medicare health benefits?” Slome posited. He noted that a recent comparison of equal policy amounts revealed that men paid 15 percent more than a same-age female applicant.

“Women have a far greater risk of needing long term care insurance and, in fact, receive two-thirds of the claim benefits paid by insurers,” Slome noted. The organization recently released the results of a study reporting that long term care insurers paid some $7.5 billion in claim benefits in 2013, a significant increase over the prior year.

According to AALTCI, unisex rates, where single women pay the same as single men, are still available in a number of states. “The opportunity to take advantage of this is ending as insurers continue to roll out new policies on a state-by-state basis,” Slome admitted. The Association recently reported that unisex rates could still be found in 16 states. “But the number keeps declining which is why we urge single women in their 50s and 60s to at least inquire into what long term care insurance costs,” Slome shared.

Monday, May 19, 2014

Five Long Term Care Insurance CEOs Address AALTCI Conference Today

Where is long term care insurance heading will be the focus of a 90-minute keynote session at the nation’s largest long term care insurance conference set to begin this Sunday in Kansas City.

Organized by the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, an industry trade group, a highlight of the three-day event will be the LTC CEO Forum where five heads of leading insurers address the past, present and future. “The past five years have witnessed enormous change in the long term care insurance industry and this is the time to hear what’s in store,” declares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “Five industry leaders who represent leading players with different perspectives will share their outlook and perhaps most important question each other and take questions from the audience.”

Because of the expected heightened interest, the CEO panel session will be broadcast free of charge online. Access is available to any insurance agent or financial professional with Internet access. “This marks the first time that live sessions will be broadcast direct from a major insurance industry conference that can be accessed for free,” Slome adds. The conference broadcast is being streamed by Virtual Insurance Conferences and Expos, an entity established to broadcast insurance events.

According to Slome, heads of five leading insurers including Genworth Financial, John Hancock Insurance, Transamerica Long Term Care, Lincoln Financial and Northwestern Mutual will participate in the panel. Those attending will be allowed to pose questions to the panel. “Those watching online will also be able to ask questions via the free online chat taking place,” Slome notes.

Monday, May 12, 2014

Group Long Term Care Insurance Gains Favor As Options Increase

An increasing number of small businesses are investigating long term care insurance as an employee benefit or as a tax-favored benefit for owners according to a just-published report.

“Interest in long term care insurance is growing again especially among firms with 20-to-99 employees,” reports Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) a national trade group.    There are five million companies with that many employees according to the latest U.S. census data.  They account for over 20 million workers.

According to AALTCI, many insurers offer discounts to group enrollees compared to standard plans available to individuals.  “Today, there is enormous flexibility in terms of benefit options as well as who is offered coverage,” Slome notes.  “Plans can be offered on a voluntary basis paid by payroll deduction or the employer may contribute a nominal amount.  It may even be possible to offer company-paid coverage exclusively for executives and key employees.”

Long Term Care Insurance Plans Not Regulated By Obamacare

“Long term care insurance plans are not regulated under the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) so employers have a great deal of flexibility,” explains George Mellendorf, president of LTC Solutions, a national distributor of individual and multi-life long term care insurance headquartered in Cape Coral, FL.   “Even small groups with as few as 10 employees can qualify for simplified health underwriting and pricing discounts that can reduce costs by between five and 10 percent annually.”

The AALTCI analysis of 8,000 employer plans sold in the past few years found that 21 percent of participants were less than 54 years of age with four percent of buyers age 44 or younger.  “Participants in employer-sponsored plans tend to be younger and nearly 40 percent had incomes under $75,000,” Slome notes.  “That is an important trend and we foresee continued growth of sales to buyers within small groups in the years ahead”, explains Tim Kneeland, President of Transamerica Long Term Care, a leading provider of long term care policies within small groups.

Individuals or small employer groups interested in learning more or seeking  long term care insurance costs can contact me.