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!

Are Commission Eliminations a Trend for Us to be Concerned With?

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

There has been a lot of talk and many articles in our trade publications about carriers suspending commission payments for open enrollment in the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare). Is this a trend that the industry needs to pay attention to, or is it affecting just this specific kind of insurance? Interesting to ponder, are you going to lose any sleep over it? I suspect that if you are one of those agents that work in this market, you are concerned about the future. Are they going to expand that to all under 65 major health products, or is it contained in a small amount of the overall business?

There are pros and cons with the Affordable Care Act and many differing opinions on it’s success. There is no doubt that many more Americans are insured today than at any other time in our country’s history. Medicaid expansion has added thousands if not millions of additional covered Americans in addition to the newly insured under the ACA. Regardless of which side of the aisle you sit on, these facts can’t be disputed. What does get disputed is what effect it has on the other forms of insurance available to consumers.

Most of the carriers participating in the ACA have given dismal reports for the last 2 years on premium collection, insured retention, and overall claims experience. It is not a disputed fact that the majority of carriers are paying more out in claims than what they are collecting in premiums from the open enrollment section of the ACA. How long will that trend continue? Time will certainly tell. These same carriers that are reporting significant losses in the ACA open enrollment are looking for all means to “right the ship”, unfortunately, commissions got caught up in that correction.

It appears that this commission suspension is an anomaly at this point and not a concern for panic with regard to the other health related products out there. Should we ignore what is happening to commissions in this group, certainly not. As a prudent business person, we all have to stay sharp to market trends, carrier actions and regulatory concerns. At this point, the carriers need the individual producer as much as the producer needs them. Very few of these carriers have a direct to consumer mentality or a mechanism to take their overall business straight to the consumer. So for the short term, insurance advisors are still needed by the carriers, the consumers and the families they support.

If you have sold in this environment and it affected you financially, let the carrier and the regulators know this. The only way that they are going to know what effect this is having on your livelihood is if you speak up.

Marketing Long Term Care, Disability Income Protection, Short term care and other individual products may be the solution to the shrinking compensation that the carriers imposed on the ACA. Let’s remain strong in the other individual product lines and demonstrate that our profession is truly needed. Reach out to Financial Brokerage at 800-397-9999 for additional information on this subject.

Short Term Care Might Just Be The Answer You Are Looking For

Presented by Michelle Daharsh

Short Term Care . . . why you and your clients should consider it.

If you understand the need for Long Term Care insurance but find the premiums are too expensive, your client can’t make it through underwriting or they are over the age of 79, then a conversation about Short Term Care with that client may be the answer you are looking for. Short Term Care is limited in its scope of coverage but will cover the majority of all nursing home stays at a price that is much more affordable than Long Term Care insurance. Also, the coverage, though short, does provide a degree of protection from the depletion of your client’s assets. Consider some of the benefits:

Issue ages: 18-85

Daily Benefits: $20-$300

Benefit periods: 180 or 360 days with a 20 day Elimination period

Restoration of Benefits

Full Benefits paid for Alzheimer’s Disease and many more

Short Term Care coverage is an affordable approach to providing limited coverage towards the high cost of nursing home care for your clients. For more information and pricing on this product, please contact us at Financial Brokerage at 800-397-9999.

Using the Affordable Care Act to your Advantage

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

It really doesn’t matter which side of the fence you’re on when talking about the Affordable Care Act (ACA). There are opportunities for just about everyone in our business. If you sell individual major medical coverage, you’ve probably found a way to embrace the new way of selling and dealt with the challenges that go with it. On the other hand, you may be one of those producers that say, “I’m certainly glad that I’m not in the major medical market so I don’t have to deal with all those changes”. There are challenges with every decision as well as opportunities.

With individual major medical coverage being offered through the ACA, many of these clients have affordable health insurance for the first time, especially if they are receiving a subsidy from the government for their premiums due to their income. They also found that they can qualify for the first time without their health being an issue. Unfortunately many are finding out the hard way that although their premiums are more affordable, the deductibles and co-pays required by these plans create high out-of-pocket costs. With the caps on these plans being $6,600 and $13,200 for an individual and family respectively, the question becomes how are they are going to pay for it.

This is where you come in. Don’t walk away from a discussion with a prospect that says they have their health insurance taken care of. Explore a little deeper with that client. Is it coverage being provided at work or is it an individual plan, what are the deductibles, what are the copays, what will it cost the family in out-of-pocket expenses? Products like, Critical Illness, Cancer Heart Attack Stroke plans, Accident coverage, Per Diem Benefits for Hospitalization and Intensive Care are all products that can fill that gap. In some respects, we are going back to the early 1980’s before Major Medical coverage for individuals was being discussed. The industry was selling Accident, Hospitalization, Medical/Surgical plans along with limited Disability Income protection as a means of plugging gaps that a client would have in respect to health coverage.

As we close in on another open enrollment period with the Affordable Care Act, keep the above in mind. You can do great things with these supplemental products for your clients but you have to have the conversation with them.

Is Waiting for the Supreme Court’s Decision on the Affordable Care Act Affecting your Bottom Line?

Presented by Leonard Berthelsen

often talk with agents like you and get varied opinions on how the Supreme Court will rule on the Affordable Care Act.  Are they going to rule in favor of the government regarding subsidies for the Federal Marketplace, or will the market be unsettled as a result of the decision?  We all speculate on what the decision is going to be, and of course have our own opinion on what should be the ruling.

The end result is simply this, the decision has very little to do with whether our clients need life insurance, disability income protection or long term care insurance.  The need will still be there, regardless of what the decision is.

Our task is to stay focused on what we can change, what we can do for our clients and how we can make a better life for those we touch every day.  It’s easy to get caught up in all the turmoil, all the discussion, but in the end we need to do what we do best, that is help our clients.

We chose our profession because we wanted to help people, and that has grown into a passion for many of you.  Keep the passion burning, stay focused on what you can affect and you will find in the end that your clients are better off knowing you and working with you.