Want to better educate your prospects about long-term care planning? Want to motivate them to take action?

For those of us in the long-term care trenches, that can be a difficult task. That’s why the marketing initiatives from the 3in4 Need More Campaign are definitely welcomed. And absolutely needed!

First, what is 3in4? It’s a national awareness campaign to educate Americans about the need to form a long-term care plan and which products, services and options could be part of that plan. The key message is “Health Insurance Isn’t Enough; 3in4 Need More.” And who better to raise this awareness and communicate this message than agents, financial advisors and planners?

The organization was started three years ago by three dedicated volunteers — Jonas Roeser, the president and the creative force behind this effort, Mark Goldberg and me. We shared a vision of bringing the LTC industry together in a national nonprofit association to promote the concept of long-term care planning.

And that has happened. Producers, agencies, carriers, associations (NAIFA and NAHU), federal and state government representatives and others have joined us. All dollars raised are used for marketing; all of the time spent on the campaign is donated.

The campaign provides a proven approach to help professionals in the LTC space successfully explain to their clients and prospects the need for planning. Here are the key facts on which the 3in4 concept is based:

-       77 percent of Americans ages 30 to 65 think they should know more about LTC insurance than they currently do. That’s more than 3 in 4 Americans.

-       74 percent of consumers ages 55 to 65 say they are concerned about needing some kind of long-term care. Again, that’s nearly 3 in 4 of us.

The campaign focuses on four objectives:

1. Spread the word among the public that “3in4 Need More” than health insurance.

2. Support Congressional efforts to provide additional incentives, like tax deductions or credits, to help people better afford long-term care products.

3. Bring the LTC industry together to educate the public by joining the 3in4 Need More Campaign and using the logo and visuals to spread the word.

4. Educate the public on private programs and federal entitlement options.

See also: 5 ways to sell LTCI to boomers

3in4’s producer benefits

So, what’s in it for producers? Let’s start with the big picture. In order for the long-term care industry to survive and to reverse the downward sales trend, we need to all work together to promote the need for this protection. The 3in4 Campaign is an important resource to make that happen.

On an individual agent level, the campaign provides excellent marketing materials for reaching out to clients and prospects. There are three levels of membership: (1) Free, (2) LTC Educator and (3) LTC Advisor. All dollars raised are used to support marketing activities. The benefits received on all three levels are explained on the website www.3in4needmore.com.

Here are three items available with the free membership:

1. An electronic version of the new booklet “The Essentialsfor Long-Term Care Planning.” Its 16 chapters include such helpful information as how to design the right plan, researching long-term care planning, knowing your risks, and asset-based products. Especially helpful is the chapter on VA benefits. The information even details the exact dollar amount the vet and the spouse will receive, so it’s very useful when determining the appropriate combination of benefits.

I’m emailing the booklet to prospects as part of my confirmation letter before we meet. Plus, I’ve ordered a quantity of customized versions with my bio and contact information on the back, and I plan to use them for generating referrals from centers of influence.

2. A long list of radio PSAs. Taped by Dr. Marion Somers, a nationally known geriatric care coordinator who is an official spokesperson for the 3in4 campaign, these 30- and 60-second spots are perfect to post on websites or to send to interested prospects. Topics include “What Medicare Doesn’t Cover,” “A Women’s Issue,” “Rates,” “Sooner Than Later,” “Shared Plans,” “Turned Down for Coverage,” “Piece of Mind,” “What to Consider,” “Assets,” “Who Needs One,” “Waiting Too Long” and more.

3. The 3in4 iPhone app, which will be launching this month. The app includes a cost of care calculator. Picture this: you’re sitting with a LTC prospect at a face-to-face meeting, and the person indicates that he or she is planning to move to another state to retire. Or you’re working with a client discussing another product, and the topic of long-term care protection comes up. You can then quickly pull out your cell phone and hit the 3in4 application to show them the cost of long-term care in the appropriate area now and in the future.

See also: 3in4 Need More: The app

With the LTC Educator membership, for a small fee of $5 a month, you can access a long list of other benefits, including:

  • A listing as an LTC resource on the iPhone app and on the 3in4 website by zip code, state or specialty. The website ranks on page one for the search term “long-term care planning.”
  • The ability to personalize materials.
  • The opportunity to participate in a licensed lead generation program. LTCI partnership creatives are pulling 1.2 percent nationally.
  • Access to a long list of marketing materials, including a seminar presentation with a PowerPoint presentation and a written script, phone scripts and more.

The third level of membership — the LTC Advisor — is a customized program based on your specific marketing objectives. Components include an email awareness campaign to 1,000 qualified local households, a personalized 3in4 advisor website, a personal blog, point-of-sale displays and other materials.

What’s ahead for 3in4

What’s really exciting is the pilot program being conducted this month in California. The state’s California Partnership for LTCI and the 3in4 Association are working together on consumer outreach, both through the media and an educational seminar campaign for residents. The initiative aims to promote partnership plans and increase consumer awareness of the need for LTC planning.

Seminars will be conducted throughout the state by Dr. Marion, the California Partnership and LTC specialists from several agencies. The goal is to show that the program is a viable way to inform residents about their state partnership programs.

Heading our to-do list for 2014 is to encourage more partnership states to implement this type of education outreach program. Based on the feedback from this pilot program and from a similar pilot conducted in Texas last year, the 3in4 Association will be preparing a state partnership package, which will be available in a few weeks. The comprehensive package will include the following:

– Materials to educate a state’s elected representatives, insurance officials and health and human services staff about the advantages of promoting partnership plans.

– The seminar presentation and all marketing materials used by the two pilot programs.

If you’re interested in encouraging your state to promote partnership plans — for the state, the big advantage to encourage its citizens to buy private LTC policies is that it will reduce future Medicaid spending — and in positioning you and your agency as an industry leader in your state, then we invite you to contact us to learn more about this opportunity and be included in our planning.

Plus, we’re in the final stages of presenting to the board of the ILTCI Conference the plans for a half-day training session for those interested in being part of the partnership package concept. This would be held on March 19 in Orlando. 

There are two more interesting items we want to share with you. First, we have been notified that in the November issue of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, 3in4 Need more will be mentioned as a resource for checking LTC costs around the country. (Of course, the article could end up on the cutting room floor at the last minute. But as this magazine goes to press, we have been assured that it is still there.)

Second, we’re involved in making a movie about the heartbreak of watching a father succumb to the horrors of Alzheimer’s. Called “It Snows All the Time,” the movie is written by the son, a professional actor. His goal for the movie is to raise awareness about the disease and provide funding from its viewers to help support a cure. Ten percent of the film’s profits will be donated to dementia/Alzheimer’s research. Filming is underway in Nebraska by an award-winning film maker and all production costs have been funded. To learn more, visit the www.itsnowsallthetime.com.

Since November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, this is the perfect time to join our effort to boost awareness of the need for this very important protection. Visit the website www.3in4needmore.com and review the information about how the campaign can support your business and drive national awareness about the need for LTC planning. To request additional information, email us at contact@3in4needmore.com.

 

For more on 3in4 Need More, see:

Advisor finds lingering LTC education gap

The 3in4 campaign: Use it

3in4 Quantifies Campaign Media Exposure