Long-Term Care Insurance has an image problem, and it starts with the name itself according to one of our three Producer Roundtable panelists in the December issue of Life Insurance Selling.

Arthea S. Reed, Ph.D., CLTC, a long-term care insurance specialist with The Asheville Group of Northwestern Mutual Financial Network in Asheville, N.C., says the product was misnamed from the start. “No one wants to think about going to a nursing home and most people think of LTCI as nursing home coverage when actually the opposite is true,” says Reed.

She goes on to list five other distinct reasons why an LTCI sales boom has yet to materialize, and fellow panelists Matthew D. Brotherton, CLTC, and William M. Upson, ChFC, CLU, also chime in on issues they see in the marketplace.

The Producer Roundtable (Read the complete article by clicking here) is one of five features in the December issue devoted to LTCI. We’ve also got articles on LTC conversation-starters, 1035 exchanges, overcoming common LTCI misconceptions, and a closer look at the four different payment options. You can also check out our just-released 20th annual report on LTCI plans here.

We need to help LTCI break free of its image problems and spread the word to consumers about the important role long-term care insurance can play in not only providing the funds for care inside or outside of a nursing home, but also in its ability to preserve a family’s wealth.

Consider that the new average cost for private room nursing home care is now about $80,000 per year according to the 2009 MetLife Mature Market Survey of Nursing Home, Assisted Living, Adult Day Services, and Home Care Costs. That’s an increase of 3.3% and averages out to $219 per day. Assisted living also rose 3.3% on average to $3,131 per month. Home health care aides now cost an average of $21 per hour, a 5% increase. Adult day services run $67 per day, a 4.7% increase.

What’s that? Most of your clients don’t have long-term care insurance? Oh well. I’m sure it won’t take them too long to spend down to the point where they qualify for Medicaid.