Margie Barrie (File photo)

I’m in Times Square in the middle of New York City. It’s 7 a.m. on a beautiful day in May. With me are several hundred agents who are as passionate about long-term care (LTC) as I am.

Parked in the roped-off area is a large antique Greyhound bus (nicknamed Nelly), which is decorated with signs proclaiming 3in4 Need More. Overhead is Prudential’s billboard dead center in Times Square with the 3in4 logo. Music is playing. Our personal flash mob is dancing. New Yorkers on their way to work are gaping at the spectacle. This is incredible!

Thus the 3in4 Need More campaign was officially launched. That was when the three founding members — Jonas Roeser, Mark Goldberg and myself — made the commitment to join forces to form a national non-profit named the 3in4 Association. Our goal was to bring the industry together to increase consumer awareness for LTC planning.

Since that exciting event two-and-a-half-years ago, the 3in4 Need More campaign has held a number of public relations events to spread the word about long-term care planning.

Since this is Long Term Care Awareness Month, this seemed to be a good time to give answers to frequently asked questions about how the campaign works.

Q. How many paid staff does the campaign have?

A. None. Everybody volunteers their time – including members of the executive committee and advisory board.

Q. Where does the campaign get its funding?

A. Our funding comes from carriers, agencies and producers. A budget of $500,000 over the last two years has delivered back $10 million in exposure dollars.

Q. What are the top priorities for 2014?

A. We have two major priorities.

First, we will be developing ways to grow membership.

Second, we want to encourage LTC Partnership states, which use Medicaid program rules to give consumers incentives to use private long-term care insurance (LTCI), to implement a consumer outreach program to the media and public to promote these plans and to increase consumer awareness of the need for LTC planning.

In California, the California Partnership for LTCi and the 3in4 Association are joining together. Seminars are being conducted throughout the state by the California Partnership and LTC specialists from several agencies.

Then, based on the feedback from this pilot program and from a similar pilot conducted in Texas last year, the 3in4 Association will prepare a State Partnership Package. This will include a seminar presentation and marketing materials to educate key state officials — elected representatives, insurance officials and state Health and Human Services agency staff — about the advantages of promoting partnership plans.

I invite everybody in the industry to join us in our efforts to contact key people in Partnership states, to ask them to implement the same type of state-wide publicity program that is underway in California. That is a win-win for individual producers and for the LTC industry as a whole.

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