February 15, 2017
4 ways to bridge the $12 trillion life insurance gap A recent LIMRA study points to a significant underinsured life insurance market. Here’s where the biggest opportunities are to fill that need. Read more.
2017 Life Insurance Planning: Why this could be a strong year despite uncertainty in the tax law Check out this recent article and get a pro’s perspective – in case your crystal ball has been on the fritz lately too. Read more.
January 31, 2017
By Elliot Raphaelson, Tribune Content Agency
The Savings Game
Because everyone is living longer, many life insurance companies have found traditional long-term care (LTC) policies are not profitable enough.
Several years ago, MetLife and Prudential stopped selling these policies, and they were joined recently by John Hancock, which increased the premiums for existing policies. Genworth still offers new policies, but it has increased the premiums for existing and new policies. Other companies are still selling traditional policies, but premiums are generally guaranteed for one year only, and can be increased if the insurance company gets your state insurance commissioner’s approval.
Consumers do have other policy options that cover both life insurance and long-term care. These options are generally known as “hybrid” policies. One of these options is purchasing a single-premium policy that provides both traditional life insurance coverage and a rider that provides some LTC coverage.
January 18, 2017
At some point in their lifetime, about half of Americans will need high levels of long term care services and support after age 65 to help them with everyday activities.* That’s why we believe it’s critical to help raise awareness about long term care — what it is and how you can plan for it.
Let’s Get the Conversation Started!
January 13, 2017
Disruptive forces are causing carriers to focus on product innovation
Dec 28, 2016 | By Linda Chow
The US life, annuity and long-term care (LTC) industries are facing a number of disruptive forces, from macroeconomic changes and demographic shifts to rising consumer expectations. Carriers are responding by changing their business models, modifying sales distribution practices, digitizing core processes and functions, and upgrading their risk management capabilities.
In addition, there is an effort to stimulate revenue growth with innovative products that address industry issues and meet the enormous consumer need for LTC services and support. Among the products that have gained significant traction in the insurance industry are combination products, which combine base life or annuity policies with LTC riders.
This article will examine the rise of combination products, why they have enjoyed considerable growth in recent years and possible future developments in this increasingly important market.
January 11, 2017
We have to cure more, insure more, save more, tax more, borrow more or ration more
Jan 10, 2017 | By Allison Bell
The current fight over what happens to people with health problems if the Affordable Care Act ban on medical underwriting goes away may be a baby version of the coming battle over how we pay for baby boomers who need long-term care.
The root of the ACA medical underwriting problem is the same as the root of the future long-term care funding problem: We have soft hearts and thin wallets. We want all nice people to have the care they need, but we don’t want to make tough decisions about how we pay for the care.
So, we keep rolling that bad funding hot potato around society.
December 15, 2016
Dec 01, 2016 | By Allison Bell
This is a challenging time for insurers to write stand-alone long-term care insurance, and a challenging time for agents to sell it.
No matter why some issuers may be getting out of part or all of the market, or how different the remaining players might be from the ones that have gotten out, the announcements about the players getting out are stressful.
Designing a complicated long-term care insurance program is difficult.
The bond interest rates that could smooth over that difficulty, by increasing earnings on long-term care insurance issuers’ huge reserves, hover near zero and, in effect, turn the reserves into the abstract financial equivalent of binge-watching bums on a sofa.
December 7, 2016
Dec 07, 2016 | By Stephan R. Leimberg
Life insurance can be a superb savings asset, but it does carry distinct tax issues.
All conventional saving vehicles serve the same purpose, but the unique feature of life insurance is that it assures a desired accumulation at a specific, but uncertain time; namely at the time of the insured’s death. No other savings or investment tool makes such a guarantee.
Here are 15 life insurance tax issues to anticipate in advance of filing time, from “The Tools & Techniques of Life Insurance Planning” (6th Edition).