Employer-sponsored long-term care insurance (LTCI) plans may have to change along with the LTCI industry.
Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), has given that advice in an AALTCI commentary on the state of the group LTCI market.
In the past, several carriers were competing vigorously for group LTCI accounts of all sizes.
Today, because of the effects of low interest rates on LTCI carrier investment earnings, and the effects of gloomy actuarial analyses on carrier executive morale, only one carrier is still offering true group LTC programs to large employers.
Many large employers prefer to offer true group programs, because true group programs often offer more relaxed underwriting standards than individual programs or multilife programs.
A typical individual program requires applicants to go through a full underwriting process.
A multilife program, which involves the sale of large numbers of individual policies at the worksite, might involve full underwriting or might involve streamlined underwriting. Several carriers are offering multilife program discounts of 5 percent to 15 percent, Slome said.
Employers without access to true group LTCI coverage can cope with the shift by dropping any mention of LTCI coverage, recommending that workers seek individual coverage, or adding multilife programs, Slome said.
Offering a multilife plan may be the best option, under the circumstances, because workers' need for help with long-term care planning is clearly as great as ever, Slome said.