John Hancock is rolling out new products. (USFWS photo/Susan Rachlin)

Members of the long-term care insurance (LTCI) are about to converge on Colorado Springs, Colo., for the 15th annual Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance Conference, after another challenging year.

The total number of stand-alone LTCI enrollees fell only slightly, and premium revenue crept higher, but new sales sank. The main good news about sales in LIMRA’s 2014 LTCI market survey report was that the rate of decline was slower than in 2013, and that sales at players outside of the top five fell only 5.8 percent.

But companies still in the market are trying to find way to keep going until rising interest rates help ease the pain from past problems with underwriting and investment strategies.

John Hancock Long-Term Care Insurance, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp. (TSX:MFC), is introducing the Performance LTC family products. The company designed the products with current conditions in mind. The company has held initial premiums down by giving purchasers flexibility over benefits and warning consumers that premiums could rise.

New York Life Insurance Company has hired Aaron Ball to be business leader for its long-term care insurance business, which is based in Austin, Texas. He reports to Craig DeSanto, senior vice president of life insurance and long-term care. He will be responsible for product development and marketing. He previously was head of product and in-force at Genworth Financial. Ball has a bachelor’s degree from Loyola University and a law degree from the University of Baltimore.

The American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) has announced that its next National Long Term Care Solutions Sales Summit will take place Oct. 27 in Washington. AALTCI will offer free registrations and stream the conference at no cost over the Internet, organizers say. Organizers have already booked four sponsors for the streaming, and they hope to get an audience of 1,000 agents watching the sessions. They already have 1,500 agents signed up to watch the webcast of a sister event, the National Selling Medicare Supplement Insurance Summit, which is set to take place April 14.

Univita Health, a company known in the LTCI community as a long-term care support services company, says it has obtained a $40 million credit facility from Genstar Capital and a private lender. The company markets itself as a comprehensive home care support services company. It is managing care for about 5 million health plan members.

See also:

The 8 biggest announcements from life and health insurers this week