Monday marked the official beginning of Long-Term Care Awareness Month, and heaven knows Americans desperately need to be made aware of their serious financial vulnerability in the event (statistically a 1-in-2 chance) they need long-term care at some point in their life.

You think it would get people’s attention if they knew 75% of all single people and 50% of all couples spend their entire savings within one year of entering a nursing home, according to LTC Tree, and Medicaid pays for about 46% of custodial-care services provided in a nursing home because people did not plan for long-term care and exhausted their savings.

I also think producers could use some extra awareness as well, especially at a time when some longtime marketers of the product may be re-evaluating their strategies in light of some recent price increases to enforce policies by a couple of industry heavyweights.

LTC Awareness Month is an ideal time to bring yourself up to date on developments in the LTCI market, and the November issue of Life Insurance Selling is designed to help you do just that. The issue features an article from noted LTCI trainer Phyllis Shelton, which covers the forces at work in the market, from Medicaid expansion to the CLASS Act and the impact of carrier price increases. Shawn Britt, CLU, chips in with a compelling article explaining why women are particularly vulnerable to having LTC become a major issue in their life – either as a caregiver (75% of unpaid caregivers in the U.S. are women) or as the cared-for (women represent 75% of residents in assisted living facilities and 80% of nursing home residents). This month’s Producer Roundtable panel includes Deb Newman, CLU, ChFC, LTCP; Laurie Leja, CLTC; and Amy Pollock, who talk about product innovation, worksite LTCI sales, combo products and the impact of health care reform.

Newman, Leja and Pollock will also participate in a live Web Seminar to expand on LTCI trends and opportunities, which you can listen in on for free. (Register for the event.) The hour-long event – which will conclude with the panelists answering questions from the audience – will take place at 2 p.m. EST on Tuesday, Nov. 16.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), sponsor of LTC Awareness Month, has also made resources available to producers designed to be used to promote awareness to consumers. The tools can be accessed at www.aaltci.org/aware.