Investors may still view insurers with sizable long-term care risk resources as highly radioactive sources of financial contagion. However, advisors are fully aware that long-term care risk now affects their clients, parents, and other close family members, with little regard to the concerns of insurers or investors.
The long-term care insurance market is very problematic. One indication that things are bad is that more owners of stand-alone long-term care insurance policies are reducing or eliminating their coverage due to significant premium increases.
In the past, owners of long-term care insurance policies were renowned for clearly understanding the value of their contracts and fiercely guarding their benefits.
However, some service providers and insurers are still making an effort to fight the good fight. Here are three ways companies are progressing in long-term care.
1. Insurers are still attempting to get products into the hands of clients.
Long-term care insurance is still offered separately from other policies by most organizations, like Thrivent, Mutual of Omaha, and National Guardian Life.
Securian Financial and Lincoln Financial have recently upgraded the Life-LTC hybrid solutions. The SecureCare III product from Securian combines whole-life insurance with long-term care coverage.
The entire policy is nonparticipating. Thus, the holder won’t receive rewards based on the policy’s claims experience. Universal life policies served as the foundation for earlier iterations of the SecureCare products.
In the product launch release, Securian stated that “changing the chassis helps simplify the product, addressing a significant industry-wide desire from financial experts and consumers alike.”
The new insurance gives policyholders the flexibility to change their minds and access the policy value through three return-of-premium alternatives. One can, for instance, give customers who have completed the vesting time and cancel their policies a full premium return.
Customers who desire further LTC benefits can opt for a return-of-premium option, which restricts their cancellation benefits to the policy’s guaranteed cash value.
2. Companies are improving access to traditional caregivers’ assistance.
Lincoln’s MoneyGuard insurance offers a feature that allows policyholders to use their money five days a week to pay for unscheduled treatment.
The new policy allows policyholders to pay spouses and family members for unofficial care seven days a week.
To demonstrate how giving caregivers access to caregiver advisors and other support services might increase their productivity and health insurance, Anthem is collaborating with Ianacare. This business sells caregiver support benefits packages to employers.
A caregiver can put together a team to provide informal care for a loved one with the Ianacare mobile app and advisors.
There seems to be growing support for commercial and governmental respite care benefits or initiatives that offer additional in-home care services or temporary facility-based care when family caregivers take a break from caring for their loved ones.
3. Companies are establishing networks for long-term care services.
Several life and health insurance companies have venture capital divisions. The managers of the venture capital program said they are searching for firms with concepts for caring for elderly individuals who are frail or who struggle with everyday chores.
Helper Bees, a company that operates an online marketplace for long-term care services, solicits data from companies offering “aging-in-place” solutions.
The Helper Bees system can examine the credentials of service providers, handle insurance claims, and gather service quality data.
The company is organizing the RFI to increase the number of vendors delivering services through its system. According to The Helper Bees, the vendors can offer standard home health care and housekeeping services, medication adherence support, legal assistance, mental health services, remote patient monitoring, transportation, or pest management services.
The company is also searching for suppliers of programs for social isolation improvement, fall detection, prevention, and cutting-edge technologies for elder care.
For over 30-years Joe Carreno of The Retirement Advantage has been a Federal Employee Retirement System specialist (FERS) as well as a Florida Retirement System specialist (FRS) independent advocate. An affiliate of PSRE (Public Sector Retirement Educators), a Federal Contractor & Registered Vendor to the Federal Government, also an affiliate of TSP Withdrawal Consultants.
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