A pricing actuary at Gen Re shows how an insurer might analyze one component of long-term care insurance (LTCI) claimants’ likely benefits total in a new blog entry.

The actuary, Anja Bettina Schmiedt, used data from a European life insurance company to illustrate how the condition that leads an insured to file an LTCI claim may affect the insured’s likely “survival behavior.” 

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Most big life insurers have paid death benefits to the beneficiaries of hundreds of thousands of life insurance policyholders.

Most big U.S. health insurers pay medical claims for millions of health plan enrollees every year.

In the LTCI market, Schmiedt writes, “data for survival analysis of individuals who have severe levels of disability and need care is usually scarce.”

The European insurer had paid benefits for about 3,000 disabled claims, with some of the claims starting more than 17 years ago. From the perspective of an actuary looking at the LTCI market, the block qualifies as a “very mature portfolio,” Schmiedt says.

Schmiedt presents survival graphs showing that women tend to live somewhat longer than men, and that people with heart disease, multiple conditions, and a variety of relatively unusual conditions tend to live longer than LTCI claimants who come in with dementia or other neurological disorders.

But her charts show that, for the European life insurer, the condition with the most dramatic effect on disabled life survival behavior was cancer. 

In the LTCI claimant block she studied, the mean survival time measured was 311 days for cancer patients, compared with 1,171 days for non-cancer patients.

The mortality level for cancer patients was especially high around the time of claim, Schmiedt says.

“It then takes some years for the mortality rates of both groups (cancer vs. non-cancer cases) to start to converge,” she says.

At the end of year six, the relative risk of the cancer patients dying relative to the risk of the other patients dying was 130 percent in males and 140 percent in females, she says. 

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