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Genworth to suspend multi-life LTCI sales

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Insurance company units of Genworth Financial Inc. (NYSE:GNW) appear to be changing their approach to selling long-term care insurance (LTCI) in the employee benefits market.

Several LTCI producers have posted copies of what appears to be a letter from Genworth about the life units’ multi-life and Long Term Care Business Solutions programs on the Web.

The units, Genworth Life Insurance Company and Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York, have decided to stop accepting new applications for the multi-life and LTC Business Solutions programs April 15, the company said, according to the letter.

The units will continue to sell individual LTCI coverage, and they will continue to sell coverage in the large employer group market, according to the letter.

The large employer group market plans are available on a voluntary, employee-paid basis to employers with more than 500 employees, and on a traditional, employer-paid basis to employers with more than 150 employees, according to the letter.

The change will not affect multi-life coverage that is already in place, according to the letter.

A multi-life sales program is a kind of worksite marketing program set up in such a way that a company writes similar or identical individual insurance policies for more than one employee at the same employer. Insurers use multi-life programs in situations in which selling group products would be difficult or impossible.

Peter Paul Lucas, senior vice president for group & affinity distribution at Genworth, said via e-mail that Genworth sees the multi-life LTCI market as a niche opportunity. 

“We believe there continue to be growth opportunities,” Lucas said. “However, we don’t feel we are in a competitive position now to grow our share of that market. Our current intention is to revisit new product offerings and revised underwriting practices once our primary priorities in the individual market are delivered.”

Although Genworth is pulling back from the multi-life LTCI market, “Genworth remains committed to being a premier provider of individual long term care insurance coverage as well as offering solutions for the large employer market,” Lucas said.

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