Brighthouse Financial Inc. is preparing to introduce an indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policy designed for the long-term care (LTC) planning market.
The new Brighthouse SmartCare IUL policy will offer purchasers access to a rider that can provide a pool of LTC benefits with a value linked to the performance of an investment index.
Eric Steigerwalt, the president of Brighthouse, talked about the new IUL product today, during a conference call Brighthouse held to go over the company’s earnings for the fourth quarter of 2018 with securities analysts.
MetLife Inc. put its individual life and annuity operations into Brighthouse and turned Brighthouse into a separate company in 2017.
Brighthouse has $57 billion in universal life and variable universal life insurance in force, but it reported just $1 million in new life insurance sales for the fourth quarter of 2018, and just $7 million in life sales for all of 2018.
The launch of the life-LTC IUL hybrid “marks our first life insurance product introduction since becoming an independent company, and it’s part of our strategy to reestablish a competitive presence in the life insurance market,” Steigerwalt said.
The life-LTC product is already approved for sale in 47 jurisdictions, Steigerwalt said.
A Brighthouse filing for the product that was posted on the District of Columbia website shows that, officially, the policy is classified in the district as a flexible-premium indexed adjustable life insurance policy.
For an eligible insured, the indexed LTC benefits rider lets the policy benefits be accelerated if a chronically ill insured is receiving qualified LTC services, in accordance with a physician’s plan of care, according to the filing.