I was reading an online “newspaper” the other day. There was an article about long-term care insurance and the importance of planning for the financial consequences of needing long term care.
Sometimes the comments at the end of the article more interesting than the article itself. I was surprised that a number of people left comments believing that only those with “perfect health” could qualify for long-term care insurance. Nothing could be further from the truth!
Since 1995 the contributors of LTCFacts has helped hundreds of people with health problems obtain quality long-term care insurance policies, from highly rated insurers, at affordable prices. The key is knowing each long-term care insurer’s “underwriting nuances”.
For example, one long-term care insurer might not insure someone who has had a Transient Ischemic Attack (aka T.I.A. or “mini-stroke”) in the past 5 years. Whereas another long-term care insurer can insure someone who has had a “mini-stroke” just 12 months ago. An application submitted to the first insurer would result in an automatic declination. An application submitted to the second company would most likely be approved.
This is an over-simplified example, but it illustrates the central point: Most of the leading long-term care insurers have very different ways of determining who is insurable and who is not insurable.
Recently one of our partners asked about a client of his who had been declined for long term care insurance. She’d applied for coverage with a company that her financial advisor had recommended for her and she was declined because of “sticky platelet syndrome” (SPS). ”Sticky platelet syndrome” is a blood disorder that is usually treated with blood thinners like plavix or coumadin or aspirin.
After discussions with several underwriters with some of the top long term care insurers, we recommended that she apply for long-term care insurance with two of the leading long term care insurers. Fortunately, both of them approved her.
One of them approved her with “substandard” rates (which are about 25% higher than their standard rates.) That insurer also decreased the amount of benefits in her policy. She wanted a very long Benefit Period, but they approved her for a little more than half of what she wanted.
On the other hand, the other insurer approved her with all of the benefits she had requested. Also, since she had no other health issues and she met the “preferred criteria” for the second insurer, they approved her with the “preferred health discount”.
What are the lessons to learn here?
1) Just because you’ve been declined by one long term care insurer, does NOT mean that you’ll be declined by all.
2) Each of the top ten long-term care insurers has a unique way of looking at your health history. Whichever long-term care insurance specialist you work with, make sure that he or she knows the unique “underwriting nuances” that each company has.
3) Just because one long-term care insurer approves you with a “substandard” rate, does not mean that they all would. Each long term care insurer has a unique way of determining who can qualify for the ‘preferred’, ‘standard’, or ‘substandard’ rates.
Article reposted with permission from LTCShop.com.