Let me see if Ive got this right:
As a population, the people in the United States are enjoying greater longevity.
As participants in the technology revolution, many people here can now do all kinds of things quicker, better and cheaperfrom personal communications through building major projects.
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And, as the U.S. moves out of recession and war, many citizens are trying to learn exactly how to live longer; do things better, faster and cheaper; and adjust to slowly recovering financials and new economic/international challenges.
This can be a baffling exercise. Some organizational-level adjustments already have occurred (e.g., corporate belt-tightening, implementing Sarbanes-Oxley, etc.). But the impact on everyday life is making itself felt in various and surprising ways.
For instance, one friend told me her bank now charges for transactions at the teller windowsomething that “always” had been a free service. Social Security recipients still go there on first Mondays, she says, but younger folk are “out of there.” So, the living-longer crowd is paying the freight on the banks “expense adjustment.”
A very elderly man recently told me that a new medical office he had visited asked him to sign a statement swearing that hethe elderly patientis not engaged in criminal activities. He figured this was a reflection of national security concerns, but he was taken aback all the same.
Speaking of medical, the April 27, 2004, Executive Order 13335 signed by President Bush put in motion plans to develop a national health-data system that will allow electronic sharing of patients personal health information. The U.S Department of Health and Human Services is already setting up a panel to cost this out. The better-faster-cheaper camp loves the idea but privacy advocates dont.
Where do life and health insurance products fit into any or all of this? After reviewing the current scene, Ive concluded that some “fits” are emerging, but there is room to grow.
Living Longer. Here is where the fit is most evident. Annuity companies, and now life insurers, have been devising all sorts of product features that aim to keep step with those who live many years, even beyond age 100. These developments have been subjects of many previous articles, so Ill just reference a few examples here.