Updates to the Long-Term Care Insurance NAIC Model Act and Model Regulation

As part of its effort to revamp and modernize the Model Laws, the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) is updating the Long-Term Care Insurance Model Act, Model 640-1, and the Long-Term Care Insurance Model Regulation, Model 641-1 (combined, the Models). The current versions of the Models were finalized in 2017, and all states have adopted the current Models or similar legislation.

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A New Study Highlights the Need for Long-Term Care Planning

A report recently issued by HealthView Services, “Long-Term Care & Financial Planning,”  summarized the likelihood that individuals will require long-term care (LTC) and the expected costs associated with such care. The study indicates that a healthy 65-year-old male/female couple has a 44% and 56% chance (respectively) of needing some level of LTC if each spouse attains their actuarial life expectancy. Combined, there is a 75% chance that at least one of them will require LTC.

The report also projected the future cost of LTC. Taking the same 65-year-old male/female couple, if they both only needed one year of LTC, their projected combined (national average, future value) costs are estimated at $398,000 for a nursing home or $223,000 for 44 hours of weekly home health care.

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Is the WISH Act the Answer to Concerns About the Cost of an Aging Population?

A new bill proposed in Congress seeks to address financial concerns due to an aging population through the Well-Being Insurance for Seniors to be at Home Act (“WISH Act”). The current population of the United States is aging rapidly, leading to an increasing percentage of the population aged 65 and over. In fact, it is estimated that by 2050 the number of people living over the age of 65 will almost double and the number of people living over the age of 85 will triple.

The WISH Act, introduced on July 1, 2021 by U.S. Representative Tom Suozzi (NY), cautions that “the typical U.S. senior could afford only about 12 months of nursing home care, assisted living care, or extensive home care using their financial wealth.” This is consistent with the idea that over “half of Americans entering old age today will have a long-term need for constant attendance by another person, averaging $298,000 costs per person for about 2 years of serious self care disability (as defined in HIPAA), and more than half will be out-of-pocket, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).”

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Long-Term Care Insurance Policy Sales Declined in 2020

The number of people who purchased traditional long-term care insurance policies last year dropped significantly compared to previous years, based on new figures released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI).

AALTCI reports that at its peak in 2000-2001, sales of traditional LTCi policies soared to more than 700,000. Numbers have fallen over the last two decades and hit their lowest point in 2020 with just 49,000 policies sold. AALTCI says while the need for LTCi hasn’t changed, “more people are opting for a linked-benefit product such as a life insurance policy that can also pay long-term care benefits.”

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Examining the State of the Long-Term Care Insurance Hybrid Market

Join us June 30 for a discussion about the current state of the LTCi hybrid market and its future. Cheri McCourt, assistant general counsel at Northwestern Mutual, will join partners Sandy Jones and Nolan Tully to share their insights on LTCi hybrid issues including:

  • A market shift towards brisk sales of hybrid products and away from stand-alone LTCi
  • Key features of LTCi hybrid products and related legal/regulatory considerations
  • The future of the LTCi hybrid market, including:
  • Can products be designed to reach the middle market?
  • Can this product fill the LTC funding gap or even reduce population-wide reliance on Medicaid for LTC?
  • Are there products or features that could enhance the usefulness of hybrid products by, for instance, introducing wellness incentives for policyholders?
  • Litigation risks to riders/hybrids connected with sales and product confusion

To learn more and to register click here.

Interest in Hybrid Life-LTC Products Increases Due in Part to COVID-19 Pandemic

The pandemic shifted the way a lot of Americans view long-term care and insurance according to a new LIMRA survey.* LIMRA says more than a quarter (26%) of the people it surveyed say they are “extremely or very likely” to consider a combination/hybrid life product when shopping for insurance (a life policy with an LTCi component). In 2019, that number was just 17%. More than a third (36%) said they were “somewhat likely” to consider it.

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Aging at Home is More Than Just a Passing Fad

An astounding 88% of Americans would prefer to receive any ongoing living assistance they need as they age at home or with loved ones, according to a new nationwide survey released this week by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.

Furthermore, 69% of participants reported they have done only a little or no planning for their long-term care needs, and 49% of participants over the age of 40 reported that they expect the majority of their long-term care costs will be paid by Medicare. Considering Medicare currently covers very limited long-term care costs, and the Medicare trust fund is at risk to become insolvent in the near future, 89% of participants reported that strengthening the Medicare trust fund should be a priority for the Biden administration and Congress.

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Liability Insurance Rates and Reduced Capacity Add Pressure to the Cost of Long-Term Care Services

The cost of long-term care services continued to rise during the pandemic, and many care providers expect their clients’ costs to increase significantly in 2021.1  A new Willis Towers Watson Insurance Marketplace Realities 2021 Spring Update (“Spring Update”) concludes that 2021 will continue to squeeze long-term and senior care providers from both sides—with general and professional liability insurance rates predicted to increase by 30% or more, and a persistence of 2020’s overall reduced liability capacities in the market for the long-term care provider sector.

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