Long term care insurance carriers are adding new product features in an effort to improve sales.[@@]
- Aetna Inc., Hartford, has added a number of enhancements to its group LTC benefits, including shared care, which transfers remaining coverage to a surviving spouse when the member dies.
- John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, has been looking to increase sales by introducing benefits that appeal to younger consumers, says Michele Van Leer, executive vice president of the company’s LTC division.
“We put in a double indemnity rider so that if a person needs care as a result of an accident prior to age 65, we’ll double the benefit,” Van Leer says.
Another Hancock option gives buyers the choice of taking a shorter benefit period in exchange for higher daily benefits.
- New York Life Insurance Company is offering a well-received inflation-protection feature, the CPI-U benefit. The benefit is tied to the federal government’s Consumer Price Index-Urban Inflation rate.
Most competing inflation-protection benefits protect consumers by using standard simple interest or compound interest formulas.
Pegging inflation protection to the CPI-U should do a better job of protecting consumers against increases in actual prices, says Kenneth Grubb, a senior vice president at New York Life’s long term care operation.
“About half of the people who are buying our LTC policy are selecting that feature,” Grubb says.