Employers Face Changed Long Term Care Insurance Options

As the traditional open enrollment season for benefits commences, employers are facing new decisions regarding long term care insurance offerings.

“There is only one insurance company still offering true group long term care insurance to large employers looking to commence a new benefit offering and only one insurer who ceased selling new plans that will allow newly eligible employees to sign up,” explains Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.  “Larger employers who have previously offered a long term care insurance benefit to their employees have been forced to adopt a new and different approach to this important benefit.”

True group long term care insurance generally is available to larger employers, those with 500 or more employees.  Policies typically offer some form of guaranteed health insurability or modified health underwriting standards.  “In the current low interest rate environment the insurers like MetLife, CNA, Unum and Prudential who once offered true group coverage have ceased offering this option,” Slome notes.  “The industry has shifted to ‘multilife’ policies which are individual policies offering a group discount and some underwriting concessions.”

“For this year’s open enrollment season, employers who have previously offered long term care insurance to their employees really have three options,” Slome says.  “Don’t offer any coverage, offer coverage using multilife long term care insurance policies or recommend employees seek coverage on an individual basis.”

According to the Association, several long term care insurance companies offer coverage on a multilife basis.  Slome notes that Genworth, Transamerica, MedAmerica and LifeSecure (a Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan subsidiary) currently offer multilife long term care insurance policies.   “The discounts typically range from five to 15 percent off the regular pricing, depending on the size of the group and the health underwriting concessions offered to attract participation,” Slome states.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance was established in 1998 to advocate for the importance of planning for long term care and to support insurance and financial professionals who market LTC insurance.  To learn more call the organization’s offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association’s website.

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