Agents Can Use These Guidelines To Spot When Clients May Need Help
It is often the case that long term care insurance agents who have worked with a client for many years are the first to notice when somethings amiss, says Sandra Timmermann, director, MetLife Mature Market Institute.
Often this is because family members live far away and dont see the mail piling up, spots on once-pristine clothing and other such signs, says Timmermann, who is based in Westport, Conn. She is an advisor on gerontology for Long Term Care Partners LLC, the Portsmouth, N.H., partnership between MetLife Inc., New York, and John Hancock, Boston, that administers the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
To help agents assess whether a family member is at or near the point when he or she would be unable to live independently, and thus require further intervention, LTC Partners has developed an informal guideline, the “Independent Living Test,” for producers to use. (See sidebar.)
Agents are not meant to use the guidelines in order to act as clinicians, Timmermann says. Rather, they should use the guidelines as “tools where you really look at whether people need LTC insurance.” If in talking to customers, for instance, an agent begins to sense there are symptoms–things are happening at home, the elders are not answering their mail, etc.–”its a bit of a red flag, and perhaps the agent might be able to tell a spouse or contact family,” she says.