Isn’t that an eye-catching headline? It’s human nature to be drawn to bad news, addressing or even causing panic in the general public. And the media knows it, which is why they are motivated to share the very worst-case scenarios without exploring more common experiences.
Selling the Bad News
Here’s a short story that NBC recently ran, highlighting a couple’s worst dreams coming true. Their Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) premiums experienced noteworthy rate hikes. The couple’s story creates sympathy and also promotes fear among an uninformed public that would likely benefit from the benefits of LTCi coverage.
The story shared is absolutely true and the situation is difficult for the featured couple.
BUT IT’S NOT THE WHOLE STORY
Here are some facts that they forgot to share:
- Older policies (written before 1996) were very robust and fully-featured. And yes, the rates charged were based on estimates that have proven to be faulty.
- Holders of these older policies sometimes need to downgrade benefits to offset rising premiums. However, even with downgraded coverage, they still have higher benefits than a comparable policy has today.
How to Spread the Good News
Perhaps another reason for poor media coverage is due to a shortage of trained LTCi specialists. Before stories like the one from NBC is publicized, it would be helpful to get some insights from the industry experts, who were (of course) not consulted for this article. My clients know how to contact me with any and all questions about their policies. If they receive a rate hike notice, we have an honest conversation including:
- What caused the rate hike?
- Is likely to happen again and, if so, how often?
- Can they afford to maintain their current coverage?
- What is the most effective strategy going forward?
A respected colleague, Margie Barrie, wrote this piece that gives an informed response to the rate hikes some of her clients have experienced. The industry has gathered better data over decades of experience. Companies now know that once we purchase our LTCi policy, almost nobody ever drops it. More people than anticipated are collecting from their LTCi, for longer lengths of time.
In that article, Barrie also addresses the possibility of future rate hikes. On older policies, they could be more likely. But we can always find ways to ameliorate them, if necessary.
You Get to Decide
When you see some bad news about LTCi, please reach out to someone you trust to give you the full story. My clients rely on me for the truth.
If you’re ready to begin this conversation, let’s get started! Click here to receive your no-obligation quote for your personal LTCi policy.