NU Online News Service, Sept. 11, 2003, 6:43 p.m. EDT – CNA Insurance Companies, Chicago, says it has decided to discontinue the sale of individual long term care insurance policies in all states where it operates.

Sales will stop in early October, with specific dates varying by state.

However, the company, a unit of CNA Financial Corp., is not leaving the entire LTC insurance market. CNA will continue to sell its group LTC insurance products, says Charles Boesel, a CNA Insurance spokesman. The company writes group LTC insurance on groups of all sizes.

In addition, he says, “we will continue to service the over 400,000 individual LTC policyholders who currently own our individual LTC policies.” Policy service on this block of business will not change, he adds, and CNA has no plans to sell the block at this time.

Several months ago, CNA did put rate increases into place on older policies in several states, Boesel notes. But that is the only change to the older book of business that CNA is making, he says.

CNA reached the decision to stop selling individual LTC policies after several months of review, the spokesman says. The insurer broke the news to producers in the first week of September by sending out notices to producers about the “discontinuance.”

CNA entered the LTC insurance market over three decades ago by selling what were then called “nursing home policies.” These products later evolved into today’s comprehensive LTC insurance contracts.