As we here in California prepare for the re-launch of the California Partnership for LTC, I feel it is imperative that we address the “state of confusion” within the LTCI Market and Industry and what we can do about it!
As we enter a critical conjuncture in this LTCI marketplace, I am absolutely stunned by a recent article in/on the “Think Advisor” website dated October 22, 2017, titled “Americans worried about Long-Term Care but Have No Plan to pay for it: Genworth.”
Half of consumers would let others worry about their care. It goes on to say that Genworth Financial has published new research on American Consumer’s ignorance about Long-Term Care costs and financing options. Being able to pay for care is adult’s greatest concern when it comes to aging, Genworth said, but just one-fifth of the participants in a recent survey the company sponsored told pollsters they had taken steps to prepare for long-term care expenses.
In addition, only half of those surveyed said they would take personal financial responsibility for their own care as they age. The others said they plan to let their children or relatives, the government, or a faith-based group worry about their care. Some said they had no idea who would provide their care.
To all you agents, planners, advisors, or investment reps, what we seem to have here… is a failure to communicate!
Back to the Future
Back in 1987, I was hired by AMEX Life Assurance Company to develop the independent brokerage business on behalf of the company. Who at that time, were focusing primarily on a captive network of agents located in the East Coast including offices in Wisconsin, Ohio, and Texas. The rest of the West was split between two major brokerage agencies. One of my first assignments was to spend two weeks in the field working with their captive agents going on joint sales calls followed by two weeks of intensive classroom training. I still possess that training manual to this day. Now comes the key part of this article! (Special Note: remember this was back in 1987!)
The first week of the course was built around the last five (5) years of “Actual Sales Calls” that this marketing organization experienced in the field when presenting “Nursing Home Insurance” to individuals in or at their homes and or while conducting consumer seminars targeted towards individuals 50-79 years old. Those seminars were designed to address the most “common misconceptions” that this organization and it’s agents experienced during those 5 previous years presenting “Nursing Home/LTCI” as well as to all those consumers who responded to their lead pieces. In fact, by June of 1988, Amex Life was putting the finishing touches on a new brochure designed to address those very “misconceptions.”
Titled “Myths and Misconceptions about Long-Term Care, the piece goes on to say that “Long-Term Care is a product plagued by ‘myths’ on misconceptions.” It went on to say “On the following pages we will discuss the most common “myths” that surround the Long-Term Care issue…many of these mistaken ideas will surface as “objections” during your sales presentation of Long-Term Care Insurance. The following material is designed to provide you with answers to the these frequent objections you may encounter.”
“Review this material carefully, so you will be familiar with the Long-Term Care statistics and projections.
Being well informed and well prepared is half of the battle of closing the sale!”
Now Remember, this brochure was part of our new product launch, launching our first “Comprehensive product”— “Centurion Care” and this was the overview guide to agents addressing the market, the opportunity the premier products (brochure#80018/km11/89) and was part of our agents training tools.
These were listed in the order most commonly used/heard:
- “I won’t need to go to a nursing home.” (It will never happen to me) — Denial!
- “If I need Long-Term Care, Medicare will cover it.”
- “The Medicare Catastrophic Coverage Act covers all Long-Term Care.”
- “I can cover it, Long-Term Care can’t cost that much.”
- “My children will take care of me.”
- “I’ll simply go on Medicaid, if I can’t afford care.”
- “The government will soon solve the problem.”
Now Comes My Point!
Genworth conducted this consumer survey from July through September of 2017. The participants were 1,200 U.S. Adults ages 18 and older. Genworth timed the release of these new results to coincide with preparations for the upcoming Long-Term Care Awareness Month Campaign. The campaign started November 1st.
- Two out of Three poll participants said they expected the government to partially or fully cover the cost of their Long-Term Care services (I’ll get back to this on the next article titled “The Fleecing of the Industry”!)
- About 45% of the survey participants either confused Medicare with Medicaid or admitted that they did not know the difference between the two programs (what?)
- In addition, about 40% of consumers low balled the hourly rate for professional care in the home.
- And 52% were not aware that Long-Term Care insurance policy can cover home care (You’ve got to be kidding me— Really!!)
- Three in Five did not know that Long-Term Care insurance usually covers care coordination services. (Oh my God! I can’t make this up!)
- Genworth found that only 52% of the baby boomers (born 1946-1964) participants — compared with 64% of the millennial (born 1984-1996) and 65% of Gen Xers (born 1964-1984) — thought they would be among the 70% of people turning 65 today who are likely to need Long-Term Care Services at some point in their lives!
We here at Senior Insurance Training Services have built 30 years of home office, field, legislative and training experience “Specifically focused on Long-Term Care and its Insurance.” No one else, and I mean ‘No One Else” has this type of experience in the Long-Term Care Continuing Education field.
Our courses are based on my over 30 years specializing in this industry. I personally wrote the first course outline for the California 8-hr LTC Requirement as well as the Partnership Course in 1994 including the Connecticut Partnership in 1991 and the New York program in 1992 on behalf of Amex Life.
I developed the training program for Shearson Lehman Hutton in 1989 which became the basis for the first industry wide training program called “Tools for Thought” which was a collaboration between our captive agents and some of our most successful personal produces in the country, which become the industry training model for all LTC carriers through the 90’s.
This is why I’m so stunned/shocked to see these results from the 2017 Genworth National Survey!
Do you want to learn the facts, the Truths about Long-Term Care & its Insurance? Do you want to understand the Partnership for LTC Program and why it will become the product of choice for 80% of this country’s middle class or whats left of it?
Then search no further – call 1 (800) 460-7487 or check out our class schedule.
Do you want to “Host” a Private Training with Tom Orr on the 8-hr CA LTC/CTQ course or the California Partnership Program and become current on the changes that are about to occur in California regarding Hybrids, Traditional and Partnership policies?
Do you want understand the target market for these for these products; the suitability issues associated with them and more importantly…. Plan Design issues! Then simply email me at and hear about all the new “Consumer Educational” material that accompanies these training/CE workshops!
Remember: With LTCCE – ”It’s more than just CE’’…”It’s information you can use!”
Become Successful, Become Educated! Email me or call 1-800-460-7487!
Stay tuned to next weeks article “The Blind Leading The Blind: The Fleecing of the Industry!” and find out why these surveys results are the way they are and do something about it!