What You Need to Know
- Beligotti sees inflation increasing the cost of caregiving.
- He thinks fee-based advisors can play an important role in educating clients about LTC risk.
- He doubts federal or state efforts will eliminate the need for private arrangements in the near future.
Jeff Beligotti works for a healthy insurer that can still offer your clients stand-alone long-term care insurance.
Beligotti is the head of long-term care solutions at New York Life, a New York-based, policyholder-owned life insurer.
The company ended 2021 with $760 billion in assets under management and the highest insurer financial strength ratings currently awarded by AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P Global Ratings.
The company provides long-term care benefits packaged together with life insurance policies as well as stand-alone LTCI and traditional life and annuity products.
The company has been providing AARP’s long-term care planning options since 2015.
New York Life has managed to stay in the LTCI market during a period when low returns on investment portfolios, soft sales, and problems with forecasting policyholder behavior have chased many competitors away.
Beligotti joined New York Life around the same time it formed the AARP relationship. He has a bachelor’s degree from Cornell and a master’s degree in business from MIT.
We asked him how he sees the long-term care insurance and long-term care planning sectors now, after all of the years of upheaval.
1. How do you think the current interest rate environment might affect blocks of LTCI business?
Although interest rates are still historically low, they have been rising recently, which may alleviate some pressure on in-force blocks of LTCI business.
At the same time interest rates are rising, we are also seeing increased inflation, which has resulted in higher costs for everyday necessities, as well for caregiving.
The good news is: New York Life has a long history of being there when we’re needed most.
2. How would you describe the apparent risk level of your LTCI insureds before the COVID-19 pandemic started? How has COVID-19 affected those LTCI insureds?
While COVID-19 certainly impacted all of us across the industry, and personally, New York Life’s strategy ensures that no one piece of the business experiences a disproportionate impact.
More important is how COVID-19 impacted our policy owners.
We saw a greater preference for receiving care outside of a traditional long-term care setting and were able to accommodate those preferences, while raising awareness of the flexible options available as to how and where to receive care as part of customers’ long-term care policies.
3. Is long-term care planning on a separate track from sales of stand-alone LTCI? If so, could you talk about how the market for LTC planning is doing.
At New York Life, our financial professionals are at the center of our client relationships and offer holistic advice and guidance across a broad spectrum of customers, all with unique financial goals.
Underpinning this approach is a suite of protection and accumulation-oriented solutions that are designed to address financial needs throughout all phases of life.
With this in mind, we don’t think about long-term care insurance sales as separate from long-term care planning conversations.
Our financial professionals are equipped to both address insurance needs through a range of solutions, including stand-alone LTCI, as well as to connect customers with resources through our online Long-Term Care Center.