Bonnie Burns is hoping that the U.S. private long-term care insurance (LTCI) market will bounce back from its current weakness.
Burns, a consumer advocate at California Health Advocates, Sacramento, Calif., represents consumer interests at the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC), Kansas City, Mo. She has been helping consumers resolve disputes with insurers for decades, and, over that time, she has seen the private LTCI market expand and contract several times.
“This might be another one of those cycles,” Burns said in a recent interview.
Burns said one key to a recovery in the private LTCI market will be insurers taking a disciplined approach to pricing. Competing based on price may seem like a good way to help consumers in the short run, but it will backfire in the long run if the prices are not high enough to support the benefits promised, she said.
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Burns said she also would like to see insurers, regulators and others get together and try to develop a sustainable alternative to the ill-fated CLASS Act voluntary long-term care (LTC) benefits program.