IRS Announces Qualified LTCi Premium Deductible Limitations… The table below shows the amount of premiums that qualify as medical expenses for the 2006 tax year. This is often referred to as the “eligible” long-term care premium. These figures increase each year based on the Medical Consumer Price index. In addition, the per diem limitation for 2006 is now $250.
State Life’s new CareGuard LTC Policy… State Life continues their dominance in the LTC market, offering traditional policy benefits. Yet, they added benefits and made improvements to their already competitive product. You can now offer your married/two person household clients an 80% joint discount on their premium. There are now numerous riders and features available. In the July 2005 Broker World LTC Survey, State Life was ranked #1 in eight categories for married couples and either #1 or#2 in four of the single insured categories. We continue to believe strongly in State Life’s product and position in the market.
Allianz to release newly re-priced LTC product... Their next generation LTCi product will take into consideration the low interest environment, low lapse ratio and rate stabilization that caused other carries to also raise their rates. Watch for further details in February, when the product is scheduled for release.
Physicians Mutual – Reasons to Sell their LTC policies… Company Strength, Multiple Coverage Options (including a Home Care Only plan), Multiple Premium Discounts, No Extra Monthly Fee, Six Underwriting Classes, Value Added Benefits as a Policyholder, Limited Pay Options, Calendar Day Elimination Period, Home First Benefit, Fist-Time Cash Benefit of $1,000, Home Cash Benefit Rider, Shared Care Rider (separate third pool) and Return of Premium Rider.
Penn Treaty American Long Term Care Added to Product Listing… With over $1.2 Billion in reported assets, Penn Treaty American’s products cover all levels of nursing home care and home health care. Designed to make the administration of claims simple, quick and sensitive to the needs of their policyholders, Penn Treaty American has become one of the nation’s leading providers of long term care insurance. LTC is all they do – over 98% of their business is long term care. We are pleased to add their products to our portfolio.
Medicaid Partnership Program – Should it be Expanded? With around one-third of Medicaid expenses going to pay for nursing home care, states are begging for a solution and the federal government is under pressure to come up with solutions. Currently only four states (NY, CT, IN and CA) offer a Partnership LTC program. Such a program entices people to purchase LTC insurance, thus keeping them off Medicaid. The Medicaid partnership program will be an important step in a series of proposals surrounding LTC legislation, all of which could combine to make it easier for people at all income levels to purchase an LTC policy.
Which LTC Inflation Option is the Right One? You won’t find just one inflation protection option to be the “right” one. You need to consider the clients age, the number of year before claims are likely, the daily benefit amount and potential costs of LTC services in the future. Mutual of Omaha offers excellent options for many different types of clients. An age 50 client should consider a Lifetime Compounding option, an age 70 client should consider a Simple Inflation Option or even a Guaranteed Purchase Option while an age 60 client should consider their 20-Year Compounding option.
Women’s Health Drives Long-Term Care Planning… It’s no secret that long-term care is a woman’s issue. Women tend to live longer and are more likely to need care. The vast majority of caregivers are woman, therefore, making them a primary decision maker when it comes to buying long-term care. Focus your attention on the specific needs and issues that pertain to woman and your sales will benefit.
Nursing Home Average Annual Cost Exceeds $74,000… Costs increased almost 6% from last year, according to the latest MetLife Mature Market Survey. That’s an average of $203 per day. Even if we agree that the average stay in a nursing home is 2.4 years, that’s a total expense of more than $177,000. In a July Agent’s Sales Journal survey 79% of agent respondents indicate high cost is the number one reason why clients don’t purchase a policy. We know long term care costs are likely to increase. Planning for long term care must be an integral part of any financial planning. Clients need to understand that they can spend less for an insurance policy or they will be on the hook for the nursing home costs from their own pocket. Which would you rather spend?