For our second-annual LTCI Power List, we sought out industry insiders, including members of last year’s list, to determine the eventual honorees. In talking to these powerbrokers, a list of key players quickly surfaced, coming from a diverse background of academia, consulting, research, distribution and front-line sales.
Suitability has been in the news throughout this year and one aspect of suitability in particular–education–resonates when talking about long term care. Both advisors and the end user are often left putting the pieces together when discussing this product.
This power list spotlights individuals who are making education a large part of their business. Whether they’re talking to Congress, advisors or consumers, these decorated individuals are dispelling myths about long term care and getting the correct information to those who will legislate, sell or purchase the product. In reading the profiles on the following pages, we think you’ll agree the people we picked are deserving of this honor and are truly making a difference in the industry.
Lisa McAree, CLU, LTCP, has long been a champion of the LTCI side of the insurance industry. After building a strong business in the executive benefits market, she saw it as a natural path to “enter the LTCI executive carve-out
market once HIPAA provided the tax leverage for employer-paid premiums. We initially concentrated only on senior management carve-out plans. Now we have expanded that market to mid-level employees with an emphasis on years of service.”
The Mass.-based advisor is president of The McAree Company and a frequent speaker at national industry events. She has been involved with her local Estate Planning Council, spending time and energy educating attorneys, wealth managers and accountants about LTCI and the value of it for their clients and themselves. “I believe the best way to educate an advisor is to show the benefit of LTCI to themselves personally. The tax advantages really help in that regard.”
McAree says the tax legislation changes that occurred with the HIPAA act enacted in 1996 “changed the thrust of our LTC business from the individual sale to the multi-life sale. A few of the insurance companies were quick to seize the momentum by offering limited pay plans, thus enabling LTCI to be sold as a true executive benefit. Today, I believe that all companies see the value of the multi-life market.” In 1999 and 2000, she was the lone insurance broker on the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Task Force on LTC financing. For two years, Massachusetts government officials and McAree met monthly to craft the state insurance department guidelines for long term care
insurance and define the role that Medicaid (Mass Health) would play. “It was fascinating to look at long term care from the perspective of government agencies as well as the providers. It really brought home to me
just how huge this issue is and how important it is for all of us to view the issue globally rather than just from an insurance financing product.”
Earlier this year, Inc Magazine ranked LTC Financial Partners, LLC 1,353rd out of the 5,000 fastest
growing companies nationwide. It was the latest feather in the cap of company founder Cameron Truesdale, another reminder that his plan–to build a nationwide education and outreach program for the LTCI industry–was working.
He established the Washington state-based company after selling his first agency, LTCI Inc. That initial venture had broken $100 million a year in placed LTCI premiums and was sold to GE Capital (now Genworth) for roughly $88 million.
The cash flow from that sale laid the groundwork for LTCFP. Truesdale struck gold quickly with the new company, picking up Weyerhaeuser as a customer. The Fortune 500 company had LTCFP develop and roll out an outreach and education program for its 33,000 employees.
Truesdale says LTCFP hit another milestone in 2007 when the company paid out its first dividend distribution of over $1 million to its shareholders. In addition to those accomplishments, Truesdale is also proud of the work his firm has done to educate the public. LTCFP partnered with more than 30 LTCI specialists to develop the Dignity for Life book. “This book is 36 pages and speaks about the five things one needs to know before even considering a long term care policy and the facts that can protect ones assets and quality of life,” he adds.
Looking into a crystal ball, Truesdale is excited about the LTCI industry over the next five years. “I see a renaissance period for the long term care industry with huge growth in store.” He says that the development of his firm’s LTC Insurance Training Institute is experiencing tremendous growth by bringing in “top talent that is not from the insurance industry. We are going to continue to expand on this platform and help the entire industry grow. This, coupled with the boomer demographic, will be the perfect storm.”
One of the first people that leading carriers turn to when they need insight on the long term care industry is Jeremy Pincus, a principal with Forbes Consulting Group. Pincus, who holds a doctoral degree in social psychology from the University of Connecticut, is an active member of the Long-Term Care Financing Strategy Group, a public/private think tank, and is a Fellow of the Employee Benefit Research Institute (Washington, D.C.). He is a founder and co-chairman of the LTCI industry’s Baby Boomer Task Force, dedicated to promoting financial and health preparedness.
Most recently, Pincus concluded a “large-scale research study for four top carriers that focused on improving LTCI messaging by customizing it to specific psychographic consumer segments.” The study showed that through clarifying and simplifying both the message and delivery of LTCI, it’s possible to markedly increase consumers’ intent to purchase the product.
In addition to this work, Pincus co-founded the Baby Boomer Task Force with Margie Barrie and Greg Dean (of AHIP). “Our goal is to increase the relevance of LTC planning to baby boomers, which has been sorely needed as the product transitions from an average age at purchase of 74 (back in the 1980s) to the current average age of 57.”
Pincus has taken his findings to some of the nation’s top officials and organizations, making presentations to the U.S. House of Representatives Subcommittee on Energy and Commerce, the National Commission for Quality Long-Term Care and the National Health Policy Forum, among others.
He says to be on the lookout for particular changes in the industry in coming years. “Individual LTCI sales are going to continue to chug along at their diminished rate, partly because of higher rates on new policies and partly because of limited distribution. If you are a LTCI specialist, life is good, as there just aren’t enough of them to serve the enormous baby boomer market.
“I foresee sales starting to increase in 2010, as the economy improves and the state Partnerships begin marketing in earnest, in conjunction with additional ‘Own Your Future’ mailings. Ironically, the biggest competition for standalone individual LTCI is likely to be the new generation of annuity/LTCI and life/LTCI hybrids enabled by the Pension Protection Act, which will become available in 2010.”
Sandra Timmermann, assistant vice president and director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, is a renowned expert on aging and the 50-plus market. Prior to joining MetLife, she held senior staff positions with several national aging organizations, including the American Society on Aging, AARP and SeniorNet.
In 1997, she was recruited to MetLife to be the first director of the MMI from the field of aging. “My background as a gerontologist offered me an opportunity to apply my academic knowledge to the financial services industry.”
Timmermann says a major breakthrough took place in 1999 with the MetLife Juggling Act Study, conducted with the National Alliance for Caregiving. “It captured the interest of the New York Times and paved the way for a broad and ongoing relationship with the media and opinion leaders.” Since that time, the institute’s research has been covered in media outlets including the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Associated Press, AARP Bulletin, Bloomberg and CNN, among others.
According to Timmermann, “as boomers begin to reach retirement age, many will seek the counsel of professional advisors to realize holistic solutions for retirement planning–how to generate income that will last a lifetime and how to protect their assets to make the most of what they have. LTCI will increasingly be viewed as a part of the retirement conversation, being offered as an important element, not a stand-alone product.
“It is likely that over the next few years, consumers will see new and innovative products. It is difficult to predict how they will look but industry experts are talking about bundled products–combining long term care with life insurance or annuities, along with other products that fit within consumer life stages. These products will continue to evolve to help Americans stretch their retirement dollars.”
Let’s face it, in many circles, “lobbyist” is a dirty word. Often we hear them in the same breath as “pork barrel” and “earmark” and immediately turn off and tune out. Rest assured, not all lobbyists deserve our ire. One of the good ones is Sam Morgante, Genworth Financial’s VP of Government Relations. In researching this LTCI Power List, Morgante’s name kept coming up when we spoke to industry insiders. They told us Morgante is one of the key people clearing the path for long term care.
Morgante has helped steer the direction for the long term care industry we see today. Going back to 1991-92, he says public-private projects he worked on at that time attempted to “raise the bar for long term care insurance because there was no HIPAA. The NAIC model didn’t exist in anywhere near the form that it does today. The partnerships helped to legitimize ‘long term care’ as an insurance product.”
Over the past couple of decades, Morgante has provided expertise and testimony to numerous state and federal government efforts on long term care. In addition, he has chaired both the Long Term Care Insurance Committees at America’s Health Insurance Plans and at the American Council of Life Insurers. He also serves on the Board of the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care and was selected as a delegate to the 2005 White House Conference on Aging.
Moving forward, Morgante says to look for additional challenges to emerge in the industry. One in particular issue to
monitor is a change in a nature of the facilities serving the aged. “We didn’t necessarily know that nursing homes were going to evolve into assisted living. These policies were originally sold as nursing home insurance policies.”