How to Offer a Successful Long-Term Care Insurance Benefit
Long-term care insurance (LTCI) products and enrollment have gone through many twists and turns in the past 10 years. The question many law firms ask is “How do we successfully offer an LTC benefit?”
President LTC Solutions
But what makes it a successful offering? That can be defined by the number of eligible employees who become informed about a long-term care event and LTCI. When employees attend webinars, read the information and are provided plan options with rates, they can make informed decisions. Our data shows that at least 25% of employees determine that enrolling in an long-term care plan will solve their future needs.
To better understand long-term care coverage options, employers and employees need to learn about the types of care, risk, cost of care and government programs available. For instance, did you know that 40% of individuals aged 18 or older face the risk of needing LTC at some point in their lives? That risk increases to 67% for ages 65 and up. The rates of an LTC plan vary by the employee’s age and choice of plan design, but the employee has control to determine what fits their needs and budget.
Many legal organizations can provide an LTC product that employees would not be able to obtain on their own. There are limited individual LTC plans available, and they require pages of health questions with a percentage of people being declined for coverage.
So what is the best way to provide employees LTC education? We suggest the following:
1. Leadership:How are you involved and what can you do?
The involvement should include education and an explanation of the LTC program, along with a solution the law firm can provide to its most valued assets, their employees.
Actively encourage employees to be part of the educational sessions.
Support the human resources team’s education enrollment strategy for the LTC benefit. Long-term care enrollment is different compared to other benefits because there are fewer or no health questions only offered at initial enrollment. This may be the only opportunity for an employee to have an LTC plan, so it’s imperative that employees understand this key point before choosing to not enroll in the group LTC plan.
2. Time: When is the best time to offer an LTC benefit?
It’s best to offer it off-cycle from other benefits as people have a limited capacity to take in insurance/benefits information. During a firm’s annual open enrollment there is often an overload of benefits information, so an employee has less capacity to learn about a new long-term care option. Remember: A successful LTC benefit offering is founded on a basis of education.
“Did you know that 40% of individuals aged 18 or older face the risk of needing LTC at some point in their lives? That risk increases to 67% for ages 65 and up. The rates of an LTC plan vary by the employee’s age and choice of plan design, but the employee has control to determine what fits their needs and budget.”
3. Communication:These three formats are the most impactful.
Emails: Written information provided with specific educational points about the LTC benefit; this includes access to the product and pricing.
Group webinars: Listening and seeing information from an LTC expert allows participants to ask questions and have their focus exclusively on LTC.
Phone calls: Talking to an LTC expert about a person’s specific questions, plan design, budget and health concerns.
4. Solution:The law firm needs to find the right LTC insurance product that fits their needs.
There are over eight options available to firms. A firm’s number of eligible employees, demographics, its headquarter state and employee residence state determines how many options are available to a firm.
Look for an LTC insurance proposal that provides all options to the specific firm. The proposal should include product features, rates and underwriting.
LTC plans can be paid by the employee only or partially paid by the firm with the employee having the option to buy additional coverage.
Offering a successful long-term care insurance benefit helps many people protect their lifelong savings, home and family.
LTC Solutions, Inc., is a member of ALA’s VIP Program, which means as a member, you have access to exclusive savings from them. Learn more about their program at myltcguide.com/ltc_basics.pdf.
About the Author
Christine McCullugh is a nationally known expert in long-term care insurance. She is the President of LTC Solutions, the group and individual LTCI brokerage she founded in 1996. Headquartered in Redmond, Washington, LTC Solutions advise carriers, brokers and employers about group LTCI. McCullugh is a speaker, consultant and member of AHIP’s Long-Term Care Curriculum Review Committee, offering insights that are helping shape the future of LTC insurance. She is pleased to provide expertise and partnership opportunities to colleagues desiring a deeper understanding of this unique market and help presenting it to their employer clients.