Change Is Inevitable, and So Is the Need for Long Term Care

By Jackie Slaughter, Associate Director, Long-Term Care

  • Originally published July 25, 2012 , last updated January 6, 2016

I don’t need to tell you that we in the long-term care insurance industry are experiencing unprecedented change and turmoil. Carriers are leaving the market; others have tightened underwriting, benefits and commissions. Are you ready? What can be doubly frustrating is that these changes come at a time when the need for long-term care insurance is also unprecedented.

  • The need is evident
  • More clients are researching the need
  • They have had a personal experience or heard of one
  • There isn’t any way around the fact we will grow older
  • Life expectancies are increasing

Our current carriers are making these changes primarily because the need is so great. They are keeping their policies because they know the need is there. They are using coverage more than carriers estimated, so we find ourselves in a catch-22. Carriers are leaving the market because their products are so needed.

So, what is the answer? I think the answer is not to give up, but to be open to the fact that there are various ways to meet your clients LTC needs. Do not give up on protecting your clients. You decided to enter the insurance business to help people. The best reward is seeing or knowing you have helped someone protect themselves when the need arises.

Solutions are available with various options. We sometimes say, “Something is better than nothing.” But it does leave a negative connotation. How about saying, “There is value in being open-minded and meeting the price points clients can afford.”

There are products for a fully comprehensive plan, short-term care plans that meet some needs and hybrid products. As agents who want the best for our clients, we have been dogmatic in the past about creating plans with robust benefits. Now it’s time to recognize that times have changed. All of these have their place in the market. We must take the opportunity to explore these various options. We can meet the client’s price points by knowing what they can afford today to ensure they keep their policy in the future. We can be creative by meeting your client’s price points in the creation of a plan that will meet their needs.

Short-term care insurance is emerging as a great opportunity to meet your clients’ need while keeping costs down, keeping underwriting simple and dealing with carriers who aren’t skittish about bringing on new business. The carriers offering the short-term plans are good plans. Some of the features, depending on the carrier, are:

  • Simplified underwriting
  • They have 10 to 12 simplified knock-out questions
  • The ages can range from 18 to 85
  • The maximum benefit periods go up to 365 days
  • Provide spousal, household and non-tobacco discounts
  • Inflation options
  • Most provide all levels of care equal to the comprehensive plans
  • Various elimination periods to include zero day
  • Survivorship riders and more

Do these features look familiar? Yes they do, but they have some of the price points that will meet your clients’ needs. You should explore them with SMS.

We at Senior Market Sales want to be that out-of-the-box option for you. How can we do this? First, you must be willing to be open to the obvious need your clients have. We both want to meet or exceed your clients’ needs for protecting their future if an event should occur.

We have viable solutions for you by offering the major LTC carriers and short-term carries that can fulfill your needs. Let us help you in the creation of a plan that will meet those needs.

Call 1-888-456-8884 to speak with a long-term care expert for more information.