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On LTC Guidelines, Designations

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To The Editor:

Marilee Driscoll hit the nail on the head with her opinion piece of Jan. 20, 2003 (“Setting Asset Level Guidelines For LTC Can Be Dangerously Simple”). Guidelines can be helpful in determining suitability, but they are only guidelines. The wealthy may not need long term care insurance, but they may want it.

Ms. Driscolls reply to the question of how much money a person needs before they dont need LTC insurance is perfect. Instead of giving a dollar amount, she ties it to the persons philosophies about other types of insurance. A person might not need homeowners insurance, but they might want it. This same person may feel the same way about LTC insurance regardless of how much money they have.When the agent explains the costs and benefits of LTC insurance to the client and the client explains their financial situation and philosophies to the agent, they can both work together to come up with a solution that is what the client wants. There is no short cut to this process. There are many people below the low end of stated guidelines who still want LTC insurance. Their issues may be choices of care or concern about being a burden. These issues can cause powerful feelings and motivate them to search for a solution. Dont automatically assume that because someone is below the low end of guidelines that he cannot be a candidate for LTC insurance. Taking into consideration that children may help pay for premiums, these people may be good candidates for LTCI. Agents actions in such situations should be able to pass intense scrutiny, though. The agents actions must always be in the best interest of the client. If the agent is in doubt, it is better to walk away. No insurance department will have a problem with an agent turning away from someone who is below the low end of stated guidelines.

Tony Skrdlant
PresidentAssets Guard Inc.
Bedford, Texas

To The Editor:

Re: “The Myriad of LTC/Senior Designations,” in the Feb. 10 issue of NU.

In my opinion, it is a positive that there are a number of programs to train producers in long term care and the broader world of senior issues. My concern is when someone says that it is important to work with a producer who has one of these designations–and the designation is earned in three days, plus or minus. With this modest effort, the producer is permitted to add a three, four or five letter designation to his/her business card.

Why do I have this feeling that there is an increasing number of organizations offering more and more designations, many of them similar? Are we in an expanding “for-profit, quickly achieved” designation era? My own professional association, at a recent convention, offered me the RFC designation based on my previously earned designations. All I had to do to achieve these three letters was to pay $175. For this fee, I could use the designation and I would receive a calligraphic document attesting to my lofty achievement. I demurred.

I believe producers should consider taking the new LUTC Long Term Care course, LUTC 255, whether they are working toward their LUTC designation or not. If interested, they can contact The American College.

Edward C. Auble, CLU, ChFC, MSFS, FLMI

Reproduced from National Underwriter Edition, February 24, 2003. Copyright 2003 by The National Underwriter Company in the serial publication. All rights reserved.Copyright in this article as an independent work may be held by the author.