Q: To help my sales effort, I want to add information that these policies work and claims are being paid. Can you provide information to accomplish that?

A: Claims information-, the fact that these policies work, is a powerful weapon to overcome consumer denial. Statistics can help make the case.

For information to tell this positive story, I turned to Chris Perna, president of MedAmerica Insurance Company. “Long term care insurance helps to preserve one’s lifestyle during an emotionally difficult time when this care is needed,” Perna said. “It helps normalize their lives by providing essential services, support and guidance.”

Perna emphasized the value of care-planning services and suggested using real-life stories to illustrate how policyholders receive compassionate support during an LTC crisis. These personal accounts help sell the prospect and make the statistics more impactful. He also suggested sharing the “unexpected” value they can receive from the insurance. For example, MedAmerica received a thank-you letter from a claimant’s son. His father, age 86, was receiving home health care and the care advisor designed a care plan that enabled the claimant to continue some involvement in the family business despite his loss of physical independence. To find real-life stories, Perna suggested visiting the AHIP and AALTCI Web sites.

Here are some helpful statistics to tell the claims story:

  • There were 180,000 claimants who received an estimated $8.5 billion in benefits last year.
  • Home care had the largest percentage of claims–42%.
  • Nursing home claims were second– 30.5%. This was followed by assisted living–$27.5%.
  • The largest individual LTC claim (still being paid) exceeds $1.2 million. Benefit payments for this policy have been made for over 10 years.
  • Of new claims that were opened during 2008, 61% were for age 80 or over, while 9% were under age 70.
  • According to one carrier, their youngest claimant for an individual policy is age 32; for a group policy, it’s age 23.
  • Claim length by gender–female claims are generally longer. For example, an average female Alzheimer’s claim is about 20% longer than an average male Alzheimer’s claim.
  • According to the Alzheimer’s Association, the average length of care for Alzheimer’s patients is 8 years.

Source: American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance 2009 LTCI Sourcebook