The head of a trade group for the long-term care insurance community says 2017 could be a better year for that community.

Jesse Slome, executive director of the Westlake Village, California-based American Association for Long-Term Insurance, talked about his expectations for the LTCI industry in a recent online commentary.

Related: AALTCI finds drop in prices for new LTCI policies 

John Hancock, a Boston-based unit of Manulife Financial Corp., and a smaller insurer stopped writing long-term care insurance in 2016, and another carrier, MedAmerica, a unit of the Rochester, New York-based Lifetime Healthcare Companies, got out of the long-term care insurance and short-term care insurance markets altogether.

Slome says there are reasons to believe that the LTCI market should look calmer in the coming year.

He acknowledges in the commentary that at least one of the remaining carriers has an uncertain future, but he notes that interest rates are rising. Higher rates should be good for the remaining players’ investment returns, Slome says.

Sales of products that combine long-term care benefits with life insurance policies or annuity contracts remain strong, and efforts by the incoming Trump administration to change government programs could encourage consumers to think harder about planning for the future, Slome says.

Related:

New short-term care group meets

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