Monday, March 30, 2015

Newest Long Term Care Insurance Policies Offer Consumer Friendly Features

Some of the newly introduced long-term care insurance policies offer features and options that provide significant benefit and potential cost savings for consumers.

“Long-term care insurance policies continue to add consumer friendly features that benefit individuals,” declares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).   ”The new options and choices give consumers greater choice and flexibility as well as more affordable options to meet different budgets and lifestyles.”

“Our newest policy was designed with the claimant in mind and will provide advanced payment for facility care and a cash benefit for hospice care, two valuable benefits new to the long-term care insurance market,” reports Bill Naylon, President of MedAmerica Insurance Company a leading provider of long-term care insurance protection.  MedAmerica announced plans to roll out its newest policy offering new benefit features later this year.

“Innovative long-term care insurance benefits like these mean policyholders won’t have to always advance money for care and wait to be reimbursed, especially at a time when families have many other stressful financial issues to address,” cites Slome.  “Thanks to continual policy improvements, the many new and improved long-term care insurance policies sold today are nothing like the policies sold 10 and 20 years ago.”

Some of the newer policies offer greater flexibility when selecting present and future benefit amounts, as well as cost-reducing options.  “Smart investors periodically review their investments and adjust when it makes sense,” Slome shares.  “Some of today’s newer long-term care insurance policies also offer flexible planning options that are worth looking at.”   The best time to explore your options is when in your 50s and 60s.

Policy provisions and pricing can vary significantly from one insurance carrier to the next.  According to AALTCI’s 2015 Long-Term Care Insurance Price Index, costs for comparable coverage can vary by as much as 120 percent.  “Your benefits are governed by the policy, which can be up to 50 pages long, and that’s what makes it so important to work with a long-term care insurance professional who stays abreast of the latest policy innovations and changes,” Slome suggests.

Monday, March 23, 2015

2015 Long Term Care Insurance Forecast Shared

Single digit growth in long term care insurance sales along with heightened interest in asset-based products is forecast for 2015 according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“We expect to see sales of traditional long term care insurance grow both in terms of policies and premium written,” predicts Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).   ”The growth should be in the three to five percent range for policy sales and roughly eight to 10 percent for new premium overall for 2015.”

The forecast should be welcome news for many of the nation’s long term care insurers who have experienced double digit sales declines in 2014.  “Sales would be larger if more insurance professionals re-entered the long term care insurance marketplace,” Slome admits.   “I don’t see that happening over the short term in 2015 but it is good to see some major insurers are investing heavily in trying to rebuild distribution for the product.”

The Association forecast predicts continued growth of hybrid or asset-based long term care insurance products.  “These products are much harder to track and report as more life insurance companies add a long term care benefits option to their life insurance contracts,” Slome notes.  “If adding a benefit like LTC gains traction for life insurance sales, then considering the number of life insurance agents, we expect many more Americans will have some form of long term care protection in place at the end of 2015.”

Slome noted issues facing the traditional long term care insurance industry continue to pose a threat to future growth.  “We are seeing more consumers frustrated with the claims payment process who are turning to the media as part of the resolution-seeking process,” Slome acknowledged.  “Today, it only takes a few negative stories that go viral to impact any goodwill the industry has built-up.  That continues to be a worrisome condition.”

Monday, March 9, 2015

$7.8 Billion in Long Term Care Insurance Claim Benefits Makes National News

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance reported today that the nation’s long term care insurance companies paid a record $7.85 billion in claim benefits to 250,000 individuals in 2014 according to a just-released report.

“Total long term care insurance benefit payments increased by five percent from $7.5 Billion paid the prior year,” reports Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), the national trade group.   The organization reported that insurers paid $6.6 billion to some 264,000 policyholders in 2012.

“Americans are living longer and the consequence is more people needing long term care,” Slome explains.   ”Contrary to what most people think, the vast majority of long term care insurance pays for care in the home or in assisted living communities, not in skilled nursing homes.”  According to AALTCI research, half of all newly opened long term care insurance claims paid for care in the home.  “Consider long term care insurance as nursing home avoidance protection,” Slome adds.

The following are links to a number of major media reporting the news.

Yahoo Business 

Boston, Boston Globe$7.8_Billion_in_Claim_Benefits_ 

Arizona Republic$7.8_billion_in_claim_benefits 

Minneapolis Star Tribune$7.8_Billion_in_Claim_Benefits_ 

Buffalo News$7.8_Billion_in_Claim_Benefits_ 

San Jose Mercury News 

MarketPlace, National Public Radio

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Long Term Care Insurance Association Group Reached 6,000 Member Milestone

The 6,000 member joined the long term care insurance Linkedin group hosted and organized by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“This is a significant milestone and evidence of the continuing interest in long term care insurance issues,” declares Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).    Slome serves as moderator for the online group which enables insurance professionals to pose questions and seek expert advice and information.

“Unlike most Linkedin groups which are open boards that have become cluttered with promotional and self-serving messages, we monitor the group and maintain a no-promotion policy,” Slome explained.  “That means the people who sign up can rest assured that they’ll not find their emails cluttered with messages they have no interest in.”

The professional group was started in September 2009 and has grown steadily.  “It’s a good mix of insurance agents and brokers, many who are new but also many who are quite seasoned and experienced,” Slome adds.  “It’s really the largest group of folks interested in long term care insurance that I’ve seen.”

We want to share what works today, not what used to work two, three or five years ago,” Slome explains.   “Too many webinars and conferences focus on the past rather than the present and the future.”

AALTCI is a national trade organization that strives to create heightened awareness and understanding about various options for paying for long term care costs.   The organization was founded by Slome in 1998 who is the author of over 20 consumer guides and books focused on long term care planning.