MetLife Inc. announced Thursday that it was exiting the long-term care insurance (LTCI) market. Citing “financial challenges facing the LTCI industry in the current environment,” the company will not accept individual applications after Dec. 30, 2010. New enrollments into existing group and multi-life plans will also cease in 2011, with the timing depending on existing contractual obligations.
According to a report by NU Online News Service, the move will not affect existing policyholders. Those currently insured will be able to keep their coverage and even make changes such as adding inflation protection, if the terms of their policies allow it.
Jodi Anatole, vice president of long-term care products for MetLife, said in a statement that it was a difficult decision for the company. “MetLife remains committed to our current LTCI policyholders and certificateholders and will continue to ensure that they receive quality service, particularly when needed most—at time of claim.”
LTC sales have been down in recent years, although for the first half of 2010 they rose 13%, according to data from LIMRA. In the first half of 2009, sales had fallen 30% from the previous year, and have fallen every year since 2002 except for a 3% increase in 2007.