Three Options for Long-Term Needs

Presented by Gary Peterson

Long term care is exploding with the Baby Boomers coming of age. As an agent, you need to prepare your clients for this reality. There are multiple ways you can help your clients cover the costs involved. Three of those ways are described below.

One option is to use funds that they save over the years. If they are extremely wealthy, this self-funding route may be a good option.

The second option is to purchase Long Term Care insurance. This is better than the first, however, your client may not ever use the insurance and feel as though the money they used to pay premiums was wasted.

A third option is to purchase life insurance or an annuity with a linked benefit or long-term care rider. This may provide living benefits for chronic illnesses and long-term needs, as well as a death benefit to protect their family.

Give me a call at 800-397-9999 to discuss these options in more depth.

5 Things You May Not Have Known About Long Term Care Insurance

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

November is Long Term Care Awareness month, so ask yourself, “what do you know about long term care insurance?”

Unfortunately, some of our clients and prospects hold certain misconceptions or may even have an unfavorable opinion of long term care insurance, largely stemming from issues related to its early days of limited benefits or the seemingly endless round of rate increases. There isn’t much we can do about the economy that seems to drive the rate increases, but we can discuss the myriad of options that focus on flexible long term care solutions. A long term care plan built the right way just might slow the risk of future rate increases. Let’s take a look at what is available in long term care insurance today.

1. The client decides where care is received. One of the most common myths is that long term care insurance only provides nursing home care, (that is so 1980) and nothing is further from the truth. Coverage today provides home care for those who prefer to remain in their home and have care brought to them. Other options of care can be adult day care centers, assisted living facilities and hospice centers.

2. Benefits can be flexible. In addition to options for where care is received, most long term care insurance policies offer greater flexibility in the types of services available, such as home modifications like installing grab bars or a wheelchair ramp to help you stay at home longer and safer. Meal preparation, errand services, and respite care are all now common benefits found in today’s products.

3. It supports family caregivers. Long term care insurance recognizes the important role family caregivers play in long term care. The vast majority of care being provided today is done by family members. Benefit options make it easier for families to care for their loved ones right in their own home. Most policies provide caregiver training for family members, which helps ensure care recipients are getting the best care possible.

4. It offers Shared Coverage for couples. Many long term care insurance policies offer an optional benefit rider commonly known as “shared care,” which allows couples to share their coverage and maximize their benefits while keeping the cost of coverage lower. This provides couples with peace of mind knowing that their coverage will be there if care is needed for longer than expected, and it is not a benefit that is lost if one of the insureds passes away. Remaining benefits are transferred to the surviving spouse or partner.

5. It’s not “just for older people.” While it’s a critical part of retirement planning and important protection for later years, the younger the clients are when they apply for long term care insurance, the better. Age and health are two of the most important factors when applying for coverage, so applying at a younger age will help make it more affordable, and likely more insurable from a health perspective.

With November being Long Term Care Awareness Month, I encourage you to learn more about long term care insurance and why it’s a critical piece of retirement planning for your client. Your clients just might be glad you did.

Life is Precious and We are Only Here for a Limited Time

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

Wow, is that a profound statement or what? The loss of a loved one or even an acquaintance brings us back to the stark reality that our time is certainly limited in this world and hopefully we have made the most of it.

Some 20 months ago, I wrote about my very good friend that suffered from Alzheimer’s and that the disease eventually took his life. I have thought about him often over the months and pondered what it would have been like if the disease hadn’t affected him. His children and grandchildren would still have the loving, caring man that he had become. His wife would still have her soul mate and I would still have my dear friend to see each week.

Those 20 months have been difficult, as you can imagine, for his wife as she struggled coping with her loss but yet still needing to live on. My conversations with her continued as she put her life into some kind of order, now being widowed, and insurance was a small part of that conversation. Her husband had long term care insurance and they used it for the 18 months that he needed care. Did it make sense to have her continue with her plan as she had a daughter who could help with any care that may be needed, she asked? I reminded her that she wouldn’t live long enough to ever pay into her long term care plan that would equal the benefits paid out for her husband’s care. If she never used the plan she would at least have the comfort knowing that it was there.

My friend’s wife passed away in mid-October after not surviving open heart surgery. She never used her long-term care plan but I know that she was okay with that. The comfort of knowing that her daughter wouldn’t be burdened with providing care was all the motivation that she needed in making the decision to keep her insurance plan in place.

She led a wonderful life full of joy and successes. Even after her husband’s passing some 20 months ago, she was determined to live life to its fullest. I guess that is all any of us really want.

The Element Advantage – a practical, accessible, and affordable Long Term Care Plan

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

A new long term care solution was introduced to the industry in late June of this year. Designed by Genworth, this plan was built around their flagship product – Privileged Choice Flex 3. The concept of Element is to still offer comprehensive coverage for long term care but make the process for the client easier to understand, requires minimal decisions for them to make, offers an expedited process through underwriting, and is designed to reach more of the middle market with affordable coverage. Element features four preset packages and two decisions to make: determine what level of protection your clients want, and for couples, if the optional Shared Coverage benefit is desired.

The four plans available are the Element 25, 50, 75, and 100. These plans correspond with the coverage maximum dollars available of $25,000, $50,000, $75,000 and $100,000. These options allow the client to choose the level of coverage that works best with their needs and budgets. The Element plan still includes monthly reimbursement, 1st day home care, inflation protection of 2% compound, waiver of premium and return of premium up to age 65. The belief of selling smaller, easier to understand coverage packages shouldn’t require the same amount of time and effort as fully customized larger plans. With one underwriting category the new business process is expedited, along with minimal additional requirements being used, thus making the policy coverage available faster for you and your client.

The Element brochure is a helpful sales tool to walk a client through the sales process. It includes the prequalification questions, description of the plan, examples of coverage, and monthly premium rates. So if you don’t have access to the internet or quoting software you can still provide your client a monthly price!

Take a look at your book of business and see which of your clients decided against Long Term Care coverage because of premium cost. Maybe Element will be the right fit for them! If you would like the Element Brochure to help you along the way, contact Financial Brokerage at 800-397-9999 and we can provide you that resource!

Overcoming Objections in a LTC Sale

Presented by Tim Dreher

If you read my last two blogs (and I hope that you have) you’ll know that we’ve now come to the last of what I believe are the 3 most common objections in an LTC sale.

“I need to think about it.”

I’m sure that we’ve all heard this one a time or two. When I get this objection I know that it’s either a cost issue or I haven’t done a very good job of helping the prospect understand the importance and the value of purchasing an LTCi policy.

After some probing follow-up questions, I can usually get a pretty good idea of the reason for their hesitancy.

If it’s about the cost, I empathize with them and tell them that I understand that most people, myself included, have a budget and that initially, the cost of LTCi can be a little daunting. It is a big financial commitment for most people. Showing the premium cost relative to the cost of care can be a big help in easing concerns about premiums. If the reluctance is about them understanding the value of long term care insurance I then suggest that we go back and look at ways to build a comprehensive plan that will take care of any potential long term care needs and still fit within their budget. At the same time, I also remind them that the best time to put a plan in place is now. They will never be younger or healthier than they are today, and by putting it off, they take the chance that something negative could happen to their health. Then, unfortunately, no amount of money will get them a long-term care policy.

If the issue is that they still don’t fully understand how the policy works, I highlight the plan’s features, show them how the coverage works and emphasize how it would benefit them and take care of their needs should they ever find themselves needing care.

I remind them about the costs, both financially and emotionally, of finding themselves in a long term care situation without a plan in place.

Some of life’s decisions are just too important to ignore and putting it off will not make it go away.

“Now, if I’ve answered all of your questions, are you ready to get started with the application?”