Mary Ann DeKing entered the long-term care insurance (LTCI) industry following her father’s six-year journey through many hospitals, caregivers, assisted living facilities and, finally, a nursing home.
In addition to seeing the emotional turmoil that her family experienced, DeKing saw his care expenses at home run about $4,500 per month. The last 12 months of his life, monthly care expenses were even higher.
Medicare did not pay one single cent of these expenses for her father, which surprised her. DeKing’s family had no advance plan other than its love and concern and the family bank account.
DeKing came to realize the harsh reality that, despite the money we spend on health insurance and taxes, long-term care (LTC) is not covered by health insurance or Medicare until people spend down most or all of their assets. She recognized that people must plan in advance, while they are younger and healthier, so that this financial and emotional burden is not placed on the family.
DeKing is now one of the top LTC planning specialists in the nation. She is based in Darien, Ill., and licensed in the states of Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Missouri, Wisconsin, West Virgina, Arizona, Colorado, South Carolina, Oklahoma and Montana.The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance lists her among the elite in her profession.
1. How many phone calls do you make a week to set appointments?
I don’t count. My aim is to make enough dials to fill my schedule. I run 10
to 12 appointments minimum per week. So, if I’m not running an appointment or following up on a case, I am making dials.
2. How old were you when you bought your own LTCI?
I was 50, my first year in the business.
3. What’s YOUR LTC plan? (Plan, not insurance.)
My plan really is my policy which will give my family options.
will provide the resources and support necessary for my family to allow me
to stay at home or in an assisted living for as long as possible. This gives
4. What LTCI policy do you sell the most these days and why?
I use all the carriers in the ACSIA portfolio depending on the needs of the
clients. I have sold about eight different carriers.
5. How many claims have you seen?
Three. I’ve been in the business for three years.
6. Think back to when you graduated. What did you plan to be then?
My degree is in education, and I was a fourth grade teacher until my father’s health took me out of the classroom. I was grateful that I was able to spend the time with him.
7. What hobby do you most enjoy or would you like to try next?
Hobby? Who has time for a hobby? My work is a hobby. I really enjoy doing this and talking to people. But I also enjoy reading, decorating and
8. What’s your favorite drink?
Iced tea with lemon
9. What makes you happy?
My family makes me happy. My daughter just graduated from college and is now starting her career. My son is in college and will be a junior this
I really have enjoyed seeing my kids grow up and am proud of the
responsible adults they are becoming.
Spending time with family and friends makes me happy, too.
10. Can you share a resource, service, program, software, etc. that has been critical to your success?
Being part of ACSIA allows me to have the resources I need and the
independence I enjoy in order to be successful. The management team at
ACSIA, Mark Goldberg and Matt McCann, really provide a positive and learning environment, which allows me to improve my skills.
The lead program, run by Bob Paulus and his team, gives me prospects that are interested in learning more about LTC planning. The back office support, especially my assistant, Denise Haro, makes the paperwork a lot easier.
Plus our webinar sales tools, which allow me to meet my clients without ever seeing them in person gives me a competitive edge which has enabled to my success.
11. IPhone, Blackberry or other?
IPhone. It is always with me.
12. How many more years do you see yourself doing this?
I enjoy doing this and hope to do it as long as I can physically do it.
I have placed about $1 million in premium in my first three years … so if I can build a $5 million- or $6 million-dollar book of business, I can slow down a bit, move to an island and do a few webinar appointments on the beach.