The NAIC LTCi Reduced Benefit Options Subgroup Reports on Potential Issues Related to LTC Wellness Benefits

On July 22, 2021, the NAIC Long-Term Care Insurance Reduced Benefit Options (EX) Subgroup, led by Commissioner Altman (PA), posted its first draft of a discussion paper Issues Related to LTC Wellness Benefits online. Comments are due September 5, 2021.

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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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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.

Colorado Bill Restricting Insurers’ Use of External Data and Algorithms Passes First Hurdle

Recently, long-term care insurers have focused a substantial investment of resources in evaluating and assessing the feasibility of wellness programs aimed at keeping policyholders healthier and at home as they age. This goal meets the stated desires of almost all policyholders, and also delays and/or lessens the severity of any long term care insurance claims that policyholders might be eligible for. Many of these wellness programs utilize predictive analytics of various types, including algorithmic data analysis, predictive models and artificial intelligence. Regulators and lawmakers have been focused on these types of Insurtech offerings, and have been particularly attentive to potential discrimination issues that might arise.

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LTC Task Force Updates From NAIC Spring Meeting

During the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) Spring Conference last week, the NAIC LTC Task Force met to discuss various topics and we wanted to share a summary of the discussion:

The bulk of the meeting was the Task Force receiving an update from each of its subgroups:

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Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development Seeks Information Regarding Long-Term Care Needs and Payment Sources

Over the past few years, insurers, consumers and regulators have asked the question: who, and how, will consumers receive and pay for long-term care? The older, retired population will soon substantially outnumber the working population and the number of private insurers providing long-term care continues to dwindle. A report from the American Council of Life Insurers projects 70% of Americans turning age 65 or older will require long-term care. By 2060, the number of Americans turning age 65 or older will double and those turning age 85 or older will triple. As the population continues to age, the average cost of care continues to rise. Thus, the government faces a looming risk of unbearable expenses as more individuals rely on Medicaid for elder care. In light of this statistical reality, governments, insurers and long-term care (LTC) providers are trying to find cost-efficient ways to offer long-term care to consumers in need and, in turn, increase access to care.

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More Americans Taking on Role as Caregiver

An aging boomer population, limitations or workforce shortages in the health care or long-term services and supports formal care systems, and the ongoing pandemic are some of the reasons why more and more Americans have found themselves serving as unpaid caregivers for family members or friends.

Not only are more Americans taking on the role of unpaid caregiver, but they are doing so for adult recipients who may have increasingly complex medical or support needs. More than 60% of caregivers report in a 2020 AARP survey that their adult care recipient needs additional help due to long-term physical conditions, while about one-third cite memory problems (such as Alzheimer’s or dementia) as the reason. The on-going pandemic also continues to shape aging-in-place (i.e. at home) demand for services, including home health aides.

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Finding the Right LTCi Agent First is Important

Navigating long-term care insurance (LTCi) can be complicated for people planning the type of care they might need, how long they might need it and how they are going to pay for it, according to retirement expert Glenn Ruffenach. In a recent Wall Street Journal Ask Encore column, he examines the importance of finding a knowledgeable, independent agent who “sells policies from multiple carriers and who specializes in long-term-care planning and insurance.”

Mr. Ruffenach recommends several tips to help find the right agent, including using educational and training programs dedicated to LTCi insurance to find agents and other financial professionals nationwide. (For example Certification for Long-Term Care has a locator on its website that identifies its graduates.) He also suggests searching online for local experts or asking others in professional services, such as accounting or tax law, for recommendations. Once you have identified several agents, it is important to talk to all of them to assess who is the best fit for you based on their experience and education as well as your own comfort level with them.

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