So where exactly is Long Term Care headed?

That question was on the minds of many at the 16th Annual Intercompany Long Term Care Insurance Conference 10 days ago in San Antonio.
There is plenty of reason for optimism – a new carrier (National Guardian) entering the business, continuing interest in combo products and a belief that the worst is over for the industry.

But many still support the glass is half empty theory.

Allison Bell of LifeHealthPro noted that the market departure of MedAmerica cast something a somber note in the run up to the event. But at the time, a tight-knit group holds great hope for the future of the marketplace. And combo products are a big reason why.

The combo products are growing mainly because they meet a need, not because of the problems in the traditional LTCI market, said Steve Schoonveld of Lincoln Financial Group told Bell.

“There’s a place in the market for both,” Schoonveld said. “We need more players, not less players.”

“We want that traditional side to survive,” Britt said. “The industry as a whole needs to be thought of as healthy.”

And traditional LTC agents may be in need of a new approach. The simple truth about a complicated solution is that LTC – for most people – insures their retirement planning work. Most folks simply don’t realize that the $140,000 balance in their 401k is what will be used to pay for care in the event of an unexpected care event.

But education comes first. And education happens on many fronts – as broad as a badly-needed national campaign fronted by the wizards on Madison Avenue who have convinced Americans they needed light beer and that cigarettes are cool – and as narrow as Agent Review’s consumer product education portal. But without it, American’s – the 90 percent who don’t have Long Term Care insurance – are at risk of a catastrophic financial occurrence.

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