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5 ways Phyllis Shelton gets more out of the SOA LTCI data

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Phyllis Shelton has been one of the legendary sellers of long-term care insurance (LTCI), and trainers of other LTCI sellers, for years.

The president of LTC Consultants began trying to persuade consumers to plan for LTCI risk since 1988, and she organized some of the early LTCI seminars. Later, she developed some of the early strategies for generating LTCI referral business.

She also has written several books about LTCI, including a general planning guide for consumers and a guide to worksite LTCI sales for producers.

This year, she’s already working to find ways to use information from the Society of Actuaries’ 2000-2011 Long-Term Care Intercompany Experience Study in presentations.

She used summary information from the study on LTCI claim durations in a webinar she gave for financial professionals in August.

For a look at five ways Shelton made the SOA’s work do some work for her, read on.

Plugged in world

1. She was plugged in.

Shelton knows everyone and reads everything, and, even if no one had thought to tell her about the new SOA LTCI study, she was at an SOA LTCI conference in March and heard about the study results there.

See also: Actuaries feel for way forward at LTCI event

John Pierpont Morgan/Library of Congress

2. She had enough of a sense of history to find the old SOA study data and compare the new data with that.

Looking at the numbers by themselves and knowing what they mean is hard. Comparing a set of numbers with some other related set of numbers reveals potentially interesting differences. 

See also: SOA: Women Spend Far More on Long Term Care

Image: Library of Congress collection

Chess player invasion

3. She made the SOA webinar part of a webinar series campaign.

Shelton primed her audience to want to hear her speak about LTCI data, because her webinar on the new SOA study was actually the ninth webinar in a series. Instead of organizing just one webinar, and then darting off to do something else, she put up with the weariness involved with sticking to a regular production schedule to help give all of the webinars extra impact.

See also: You need a webinar to grow your leads

Two-headed lamb

4. She found two different interesting stories in the same data.

She compared the 1984-2007 data with the new, 2000-2011 data for all claims, and also for claims lasting longer than a year.

She found one pattern of possible interest to sellers of short-term care insurance (STCI): In each study period, half of the claims were for less than a year. In the new study period, the percentage of claims that lasted less than two years fell to 60 percent, from about 66 percent, but it was still high.

Image: A two-headed lamb (TS/Chris Meadows)

Troubled older woman

5. For traditional LTCI sellers, she found another pattern.

Some traditional LTCI sellers know all of the arguments about why true long-duration LTCI is now difficult and expensive to write, but they say that the need for long-duration LTCI is obvious.

When Shelton looked at the SOA numbers, she found that the average duration for all claims included in the data increased to 2.5 years in the new study, from two years before.

The average duration of claims lasting longer than a year increased to 4.4 years, from 3.5 years. 

See also: LTC costs: Don’t kid yourself

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