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Aging conference takes shape

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Will participants in the upcoming 2015 White House Conference on Aging have kind words for private long-term care insurance (LTCI), or any other insurance-related long-term care (LTC) planning products?

President Obama made only one reference to any insurance-related product today at an AARP event in Washington. He thanked AARP for helping the White House organize the aging conference, and then used the rest of the appearance to blast financial advisors who “receive backdoor payments or hidden fees for steering people into bad retirement investments that have high fees and low returns.”

Obama said that good financial advisors deserve fair compensation for helping clients save for retirement and are hurt by having to compensate with unscrupulous advisors. But his only reference to insurance-based products was to tell the story of an Illinois couple that “got bad advice to invest in expensive annuities that made it hard for them to access their money.”

Obama mentioned that the husband in the couple is now in a nursing home, but he said nothing about LTCI and did not use the word “insurance” during his speech, according to a written version of his remarks provided by the White House.

The aging conference, to start on a date that has not yet been announced, is billed as a major vehicle for shaping policies and programs related to aging. The White House held the last White House Conference on Aging in 2005.

See also: LTC Strategies From The White House Conference On Aging

Organizers of the 2015 conference mention private LTCI briefly on their site. 

“Long-term care insurance can be costly and difficult to purchase, particularly for those with pre-existing health conditions or disabilities,” the organizers say. “Less than three percent of Americans currently have a policy. There are opportunities to explore new options to assist Americans in preparing for these needs as they age.”

Last week, AARP and aging conference organizers held a pre-conference forum in Tampa, Fla., to give families, caregivers, aging specialists and others a chance to share their views. Other pre-conference forums are scheduled to take place on March 31 in Phoenix, April 27 in Cleveland, and May 28 in Boston.