LTC Model Revision Targets Areas For Review

By

Chicago

Regulators working on revising the long term care insurance model regulation and act have targeted a number of areas for review.

In discussions that took place here during the fall meeting of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, some of the areas touched on were: a review of definitions such as assisted living; policy flexibility; agent education and training; reporting requirements and dissemination of information to consumers, as well as group insurance issues.

During discussions, Van Ellet, a representative with AARP, Washington, said that agent training is a big issue because “an awful lot of agents dont understand the product or the context in which it is sold.” It would be valuable to see information on this topic, he added.

The discussion also touched on what sort of complaints insurance departments are receiving from consumers who own long term care contracts.

In South Dakota, complaints ranged from issues such as rate increases to claims and marketing.

In Illinois, according to the discussion, problems largely were related to denial of claims, claims delays and claims not being paid. Of 200,000 LTC certificates, there were 130 complaints and most of those were centered on premium increases.

Of 16,700 policies in force in Wisconsin, 70 to 80 complaints are received annually with problems involving rating and underwriting and claims handling.

In Florida, according to the discussion, big rate increases generally are associated with older policies and there are some complaints on sales practices.

On older policies, issues include problems with rates and claims, while marketing can be a problem for all policies both new and old, said Bonnie Burns, a NAIC-funded consumer representative and director of consumer education with California Health Advocates, Scotts Valley, Calif.


Reproduced from National Underwriter Life & Health/Financial Services Edition, September 19, 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.