American Council of Life Insurers President and CEO Frank Keating made the following statement in response to the March 26 New York Times article “Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Their Insurers.”
“The New York Times article refers to individual long-term care insurance cases that are extremely troubling. Neither our companies nor the regulators who oversee our products will stand for such treatment and indifference if these allegations are true.
“Insurers take their responsibility to policyholders seriously. The benefits policyholders receive — some $3.3 billion in 2006 — allow policyholders to make choices regarding their care and maintain their independence, without being a burden on their families. These benefits also help alleviate costs to taxpayers by providing middle-income Americans with an alternative to spending down their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.
“Statistics show that most policyholders are happy with the services our companies provide. A 1999 LifePlans, Inc., study on long-term care insurance claimants, funded by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, found that the ‘overwhelming majority of claimants are satisfied with their policy and with their interaction with the insurance company.’
“About 90 percent of all individuals filing claims had no disagreements with their insurance companies or had a disagreement that was resolved satisfactorily. This study has recently been updated and we look forward to its upcoming release, as we believe the results will be even more positive.