Question: How can you possibly get 25-year-olds to buy long-term care insurance?

Answer: I’ve spent the last five years refining this process by helping Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee offer long-term care insurance to employees throughout the state via health insurance brokers and I can assure you that they will and they are buying it. Here are two reasons why 25-year-olds and other young people buy long-term care insurance in the worksite:

1) When the employer offers it, employees assume it is for all ages, otherwise their employer wouldn’t be offering it to all ages.

2) When educated correctly, employees understand that anyone can need long-term care due to any type of accident or health condition that hits younger people, like a brain tumor, Lou Gehrig’s disease, MS, stroke. Basically, they understand that anyone can be hit by a drunk driver. They also understand their health insurance won’t pay for caregivers so their spouse can continue to work and their children can continue to be educated and cared for. They understand that disability insurance is there to pay their monthly bills, and isn’t enough to pay for caregivers. They understand their retirement savings can’t begin to pay for long-term care. They understand how important it will be to be a private-pay patient as long as possible. Finally, they understand that it’s highly likely they will need care, probably at home, so it isn’t so threatening to plan for it.

A 27-year-old employee told me recently that she is buying LTCI because she has watched her parents sacrifice so much to care for her grandparents. She is single and doesn’t want to be a burden on anyone. A 27-year-old male bought it for himself and his 25-year-old spouse because his dad had a stroke and moved in with them. He doesn’t want his 4-year-old son to ever go through what he is having to experience with caring for his father. The older employees buy it because they don’t want to be a burden on their children. And of course with the economy and the failure of 401(k)s to provide a secure retirement, the education process enables them to understand they simply can’t plan for the future without including long-term care insurance.

Phyllis Shelton is President of LTC Consultants, a Nashville-based firm that produces long-term care insurance sales training and sales aids and author of Phyllis Shelton’s Worksite Long-Term Care Insurance Toolbox(LTCi Publishing, May 2010). She can be contacted at ltcshelton@gmail.com.

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The right way to sell LTCI