Achieving high enrollments for group long term care insurance benefits requires choosing the right client, well planned execution and thorough involvement of the employer in supporting the program, experts said during a session of the Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance annual conference, sponsored here last month by the Society of Actuaries.
Important clues to whether an employer group is right for the LTC sale include the educational levels and job types of the employees. Generally, the higher the employees’ job responsibilities, pay and education level, the better the chances for a profitable enrollment, said John O’Leary, marketing leader for group LTC, Genworth Financial.
To appeal to different income levels in the workforce, the offer should also include different plan designs, so employees can pick benefit levels that suit them, he added. In addition, producers should make sure the employer’s top executives and human resources staff agree to allow an enrollment campaign that touches each employee several times, including face-to-face meetings when practical with representative of the vendor.
Sometimes, though, potential clients don’t always fit the expected profile of the ideal prospect, noted Kevin Sypniewski, president and CEO of AGIS Network Inc., a company that works with benefit advisors to provide eldercare counseling to employees as well as group LTC.
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For example, he approached one California K-12 school district with heavy union involvement and fairly low-paid teachers, averaging around $45,000 annually–generally, a group that experience showed had low potential.
“Were we jousting at windmills?” he remembers asking himself at the time.
Compared to his expectations, however, actual enrollment results were close to spectacular. Of all eligible employees, 22% signed up for the policy, compared to Sypniewski’s original estimate of 12% of employees, he reported. In addition, 5% of employees’ spouses or other family members signed up. Total annual premium was $300,000.
An important factor in the success was the employer’s support, with all principals in the school system participating in a 45-minute meeting with company representatives who described the merits of the LTC policy.