Although the masks are for the most part behind us, the residual impacts and effects of COVID-19 will be felt by all for many years to come. In a webinar hosted this week by the Long Term Care Discussion Group, our colleague Sandy Jones (Partner, Philadelphia) discusses some of the considerations for long-term care insurance companies that have been caused by, exacerbated by or are attendant to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Long Term Care Discussion Group is an informal non-partisan networking group of long-term care (LTC) policy, provider, payer, academic and other stakeholders. Visit Faegre Drinker’s event page for more information.
Faegre Drinker held its fifth Long-Term Care Insurance Summit in Chicago this fall. The event kicked off on October 18 with an informal, fun, and engaging social get-together, while the overall format for the interactive meeting was selective, informative, and fast-moving. Carrol Golden, Executive Director of the Specialty Centers at the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors (NAIFA), shares a recap of the event.
The first day, Faegre Drinker Partner Steve Serfass shared welcome remarks and introduced Peter Lucas, CEO of Davies, and John Sieb, Business Head and COO – Long Term Care at Prudential and invited them to share their views about the most significant issues and opportunities facing the LTCi community today. Peter urged that while embracing new concepts and insights, the industry should not lose focus on the basics of good policy and claim administration, and he also addressed the importance of creating attractive career paths and opportunities for young and mid-level professionals while mentoring them to become the next generation of leaders. As he discussed the importance of proactive block management, John stressed three strategic pillars: data and analytics, digital TP and claims management.
Insurance partner Nolan Tully and associate Jamie Campisi recently coauthored an article for LexisNexis Practical Guidance that discusses how wellness programs can be used to potentially prevent, delay or lower the severity of long-term care claims and improve health outcomes.
They give an overview of the wellness programs, noting that they are largely focused on pre-insurance-claim intervention but that services can be provided to healthy, at-risk and on-claim populations alike. Nolan and Jamie provide examples of wellness initiatives, including engagement initiatives, support wellness interventions and care wellness programs.
As aging in place continues to be a focal point in the long-term care (LTC) industry, providers and insurers are exploring and developing cutting-edge wellness programs aimed at helping improve the health of insureds, keeping insureds home longer, and hopefully reducing the number, severity and duration of LTC insurance (LTCi) claims.
In a recent presentation hosted by the Long Term Care Discussion Group, retirement policy consultant Anna Rappaport and Barbara Hogg of Aon’s Retirement Practice discussed two recent surveys focusing on different aspects of retirement planning: the 2021 Retirement Risk Survey (focused on the different perceived retirement planning challenges between retirees and pre-retirees age 45 or older), and the Generations Survey (comparing financial management across generations across a broad range of financial issues, including financial fragility).
A common theme in both surveys was the COVID-19 pandemic’s dramatic effect on circumstances and perceptions about planning for and thriving in retirement. For example, the Retirement Risk Survey showed that 1 in 10 pre-retirees plan to retire later because of the pandemic, and more than 3 in 10 pre-retirees who experienced negative financial impacts from COVID-19 plan to retire either somewhat later or much later than they previously planned. Pre-retirees were also more likely than retirees to consider changing their lifestyle, working longer, and changing care arrangements for family. For those with a higher degree of financial fragility, the survey showed those individuals feel less financially secure as a result of the pandemic, prioritizing short-term goals over retirement planning. Fifty-eight percent of financially fragile individuals responded that the pandemic has created “major financial challenges” for them, compared to only 11% of low fragility individuals.
It comes as no surprise that as Americans live longer, long-term care and long-term care insurance needs are increasing.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) recently released data surveying the landscape of who needs long-term care insurance (LTCi), when they need it and how their claims end in different care settings. AALTCI published its findings in its “2022 Long-Term Care Insurance Information” survey.*
Senior Living owners and operators have seen—and will likely continue to see—growing liability costs as the COVID-19 pandemic persists, a new survey from Willis Towers Watson shows. The study aimed to estimate loss costs, defined as loss cost per unit of exposure, over a 10-year period to measure how the frequency and severity of claims brought against long-term care (LTC) facilities’ owners and operators has changed over time.
The survey included 38 senior living owners and operators. Those owners and operators reported more than 14,000 claims and almost $2 billion in incurred losses from 2009 to 2019. The survey also found that the number of claims against LTC operators for more than $1 million rose over the course of the 10-year period. Similarly, the average cost of claims is higher since 2016 than from 2009 to 2016. Prior to 2016, the value of an average claim rose by 4% annually. Between 2016 and 2019, claim value grew at a rate of 11.56% per year. States with tort reform generally saw less severe claims, and thus lower loss costs, whereas states without senior living tort reform generally saw higher, increasing costs.
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.