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LIMRA finds drop in LTCI sales

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Annualized new premiums from U.S. sales of individual long-term care insurance (LTCI) fell to $213 million in the second quarter.

The total is down 20 percent from the total for the second quarter of 2012, according to LIMRA.

LIMRA based those figures on results from a survey of insurers.

The number of U.S. residents who bought individual LTCI fell 16 percent in the second quarter, to about 91,000, LIMRA said.

But LIMRA found that eight of the 16 carriers that were active in the individual LTCI market reported an increase in sales, and that six report an increase greater than 10 percent.

Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), said sales slowed partly because insurers are trying to increase the profitability of the LTCI business they write by putting limits on how much of the coverage they will write.

The California Department of Insurance was slow to approve some new LTCI policy filings, and that also affected sales volume, Slome said.

Private LTCI coverage is a good product for people who can afford the premiums and are healthy enough to qualify for coverage when they apply, Slome said.

Slome noted that, in recent months, some people have suggested that Congress ought to add an LTCI program to Medicare.

Those people “have yet to make a proposal that has any semblance of reality,” Slome said. “We don’t see the American public or politicians for that matter ready at this point to add a new health care-related mandate or increase taxes, which leave families only three options: Turn family members into caregivers, pay for care or have insurance to pay some of the cost of care.”

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