Women looking through blinds (Image: Thinkstock)

Preliminary U.S. individual long-term care insurance (LTCI) new business numbers show that the LTCI market firmed up a bit in 2018, according to a document that appears to be from LIMRA.

LIMRA has not yet released its 2018 LTCI new business survey results. A document that appears to be an advance version of the survey results, obtained by ThinkAdvisor, shows that, at the participating carriers, the number of new lives covered dropped about 14%, to about 59,000.

(Related: Democrats’ Strategy for Senate Wins Diverges in Western Desert)

The rate of decline narrowed from 24% in 2017, according to a comparison of the new, unofficial numbers with 2017 numbers in the new document, and with official 2016 numbers that James Kerley, a LIMRA staffer, presented in 2017, at the Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference.

The 2018 survey participants’ total annualized new premiums fell 4% between 2017 and 2018, according to the new document.

A LIMRA representative said today that LIMRA has not released its 2018 LTCI numbers, that it can’t verify the numbers received by ThinkAdvisor, and that it will post its 2018 LTCI numbers later this month.

According to the new document, the top five issuers in the individual LTCI market did better than the survey participants as a whole.

The top five issuers increased their total number of new lives covered by about 2%.

Those issuers increased total new annualized premiums from new LTCI policy and benefits sales by about 9%.

— Read New LTCI Sales Firm Upon ThinkAdvisor.

— Connect with ThinkAdvisor Life/Health on LinkedIn and Twitter.