Approximately 325,000 new long-term care insurance policies were sold in 2009 and currently, about eight million Americans own this protection, according to Jesse Slome, executive director of Los Angeles-based American Association for Long-term Care Insurance (AALTCI). Yet there are several impediments to the sale of long-term care insurance, Slome says, not least the fact that consumers are paying far greater attention to cost as a result of the state of the economy.
"Consumers are asking two very important questions that we wanted to address: The first is 'Do I really need this protection' and the second is 'How much do I need to buy?'" Slome says.
To answer those questions and many others, the AALTCI has published a new consumer guide to long-term care insurance protection. The eight-page booklet provides insights into the duration of long-term care insurance claims based on a study conducted for the organization by Milliman, Inc.
"The guide directly answers [consumers'] questions with straightforward information," Slome says. "It provides highly relevant information explained in a very simple and basic manner so that consumers will 'get it.'"
Once consumers have received the basic education on long-term care insurance, they will better understand the value proposition of the product and be more likely to purchase it, Slome says. The new guide combines comprehensive claims-related data from various studies conducted over the past year by the AALTCI and looks at how selected insurance protection relate to actual claims. The guide also looks at all policy durations, even though it focuses mainly on three-year plans, which are an increasingly popular choice among many consumers.
"Information is the differentiator and this new guide was created specifically to address unanswered questions pertaining to long-term care protection and to provide information [consumers] couldn't find elsewhere," Slome says. "Consumers who value the information will also value [the product] and will be more likely buy from the individual who provided it."
Copies of the guide can be viewed on the AALTCI's Web site.