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CNO increases long-term care insurance sales

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A unit of CNO Financial Group increased sales of long-term care insurance in the second quarter by focusing on sales of long-term care insurance products with short benefits terms.

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The Carmel, Indiana-based company produced $6 million in long-term care insurance sales for the quarter, up from $5.6 million for the second quarter of 2015.

Total long-term care insurance premium revenue fell to $118 million, from $120 million, but the interest-adjusted benefits ratio, or ratio of benefits costs to revenue, fell to 77.9 percent, from 84.6 percent.

The long-term care insurance underwriting margin — premium revenue plus interest income, minus benefits costs — rose to $26 million, from $19 million.

Because some long-term care insurance policyholders responded to premium increases by dropping their coverage, the company was able to free up $5 million of the reserves backing its long-term care insurance policies.

The company as a whole is reporting $60 million in net income for the quarter on $1 billion in revenue, up from $47 million in net income on $959 million in revenue.

Company executives today held a conference call with securities analysts to discuss the second-quarter results. During the call, which was streamed live on the Web, executives said they do not talk about the interest rates they are getting on the assets backing specific product lines.

But Erik Helding, the chief financial officer, said the company has been assuming that it will get an average rate of about 6.5 percent on money invested this year, and that the company has been doing a little better than it had expected on new-money yields.

Because the investments backing long-term care insurance products tend to have a longer duration, the average yield on new long-term care insurance-related investments is a little higher than the overall average, Helding said.


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