Executives at Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC) said they have made progress with revamping the long-term care insurance (LTCI) product line at the company’s John Hancock unit.
The executives talked about the LTCI business briefly during a conference call they held Thursday to discuss the company’s first-quarter earnings.
Manulife is reporting a total of $555 million in net income for the quarter, in Canadian dollars, on $6.1 billion in revenue, compared with $1.2 billion in net income on $3.8 billion in revenue for the first quarter of 2012.
The John Hancock Long-Term Care business — which reports its performance in U.S. dollars — is reporting $105 million in net income for the quarter on $721 million in “subtotal revenue,” compared with a net loss on $690 million in subtotal revenue for the first quarter of 2012.
Subtotal revenue excluded both realized and unrealized gains and losses on invested assets.
Total revenue at the business changed to $46 million in the latest quarter, compared with negative $454 million in the first quarter of 2012.
Gross premiums increased to $430 million, from $426 million; investment income increased to $281 million, from $255 million; and sales commissions fell to $32 million, from $35 million.
Sales fell to $12 million, from $20 million.
LTCI sales partly because John Hancock handles the voluntary LTCI program for federal employees, and that program conducts an open-enrollment season every two years, the company said.
The company has received approvals for one new product in 47 states, and has received approvals to sell a “gender-distinct” product — a product with gender-based pricing — in 42 states.
John Hancock hopes to launch the gender-distinct products in 36 states by June 30, the company said.
Cindy Forbes, Manulife’s chief actuary, said during the earnings call that the company is happy with the progress it has made at increasing premium rates.
“We continue to get approvals from the states, so we’re pleased with the progress on that front,” Forbes said.