The news has been full of stories about insurers leaving the stand-alone long-term care insurance (LTCI) market.
This month, insurers have put their muscle behind promoting hybrid products, or products that help consumers prepare for possible LTC needs by using life insurance policies or annuity contracts that come with features designed to help the holders cover LTC costs.
Melissa Spickler, a wealth management advisor at Merrill Lynch, said her experience is that the supply of LTC planning tools is still much less important in helping consumers prepare than basic LTC education.
“Talk to them early and often,” Spickler said. “It’s about educating the clients for the need.”
Spickler, whose company has access to stand-alone LTC products, hybrid products and other financial services tools and products, said she has the products to help her clients, if only they understand that they need help.
Spickler spoke today at a Web seminar for the media on LTC planning that was organized by Lincoln Financial Group (NYSE:LNC), a major player in the LTC hybrid market.
Spickler said she began to think more about LTC planning after her own mother developed dementia.
Spickler said consumers are starting show awareness of the possibility that they might need care later in life.
“They’re already worried,” Spickler said.