Be An LTC Media Queen . . King
by Phyllis Shelton
Radio and television interviews are some of the most effective ways to
market long-term care insurance. My philosophy has always been to
make myself famous so people will call me. I made three cold calls my
first day on the job as a long-term care insurance agent and I swore they
would be the last three cold calls I would ever make! To make that
happen, I did lots of seminars in my community, wrote articles for local
publications, and ultimately did a number of radio and television interviews.
For maximum results, it is essential to provide the interviewer with
a list of questions to ask you. I didn't do that when I interviewed with
CNN-fn and the reporter wanted to discuss her relationship with a doctor
at Vanderbilt! Bad time to forget my own advice, right?
I was very fortunate recently to participate in eight major media interviews
in the Big Apple. The Business Week interview turned into a video
as well and overall was my favorite because of the topic. The reporter
is a woman's editor and asked me to help her develop the theme of long-term
care as a huge issue for women. What a great opportunity! In addition
to providing her with a list of general questions, I also volunteered
to develop a list of ten reasons why LTC is such a woman's issue. In fact,
you may have seen it referred to as "the caregiver's glass
ceiling". I shared that phrase with her and she said it was
exactly what she was looking for.
We dwell so much on the financial aspects of LTC insurance and emphasize
asset preservation constantly. The number one purchasing reason is to
preserve independence and choice, and I'm finally starting to see that
in insurance company literature and in other articles. So let's broaden
the circle once again and look at the many other complex issues surrounding
long-term care, and the "women as caregivers" angle is a perfect
place to start.
I encourage you to book some interviews in your community with your local
media, and to help you, I'm giving you the same information I gave the
Business Week reporter. The more of us spreading the word, the
more value people will see in the product, and the more policies we all
Key Questions for a Long-Term Care Insurance Interview
1) What is LTC?
ANSWER: Extended chronic care for either physical or cognitive reason(s)
and less than 15% is in a nursing home . . .the real health care crisis
2) How much does it cost?
ANSWER: Current costs are $54,000 national average ($110,000 for high
cost area like NYC). This would be for 10 hours of home health care or
semi-private nursing home care with drugs and care-related supplies.
Costs are expected to triple in 20 years (I use 5.8% - higher than most
of the industry uses but I base it on projections from the General
Accounting Office and HCFA. I also have cost surveys from 1990 when care
averaged $60 a day.)
3) Who pays now?
ANSWER: 2/3 is paid by Medicaid and out-of-pocket, and the tradeoff with
Medicaid is extremely limited choices for care.
4) What is the role of LTC insurance?
ANSWER: LTC insurance may be the only thing that keeps you out of a nursing
home by giving you money for home care, assisted living and adult day
care. Even when neither spouse works outside the home, the caregiving
spouse has to sleep. An 8, 10 or 12 hour shift of home health care
may be the only thing that gives the healthy spouse enough REST to keep
the spouse in need of care at home.
5) Why is long-term care such a women's issue?
2/3 of caregivers are women
19% of intense caregivers quit a job and another 19% get a
second job (1999 John Hancock study)
women own 38% of all businesses and one out of 3 small businesses.
(between 1994 and 1998, companies with 20 or less employees
generated nearly 9 million jobs - about 80% of new jobs created).
Women employ 27 million people.
Things have never been better for women, but caregiving may be the greatest
threat to everything women have accomplished in the last century
for financial independence.
10 REASONS WHY CAREGIVING IS THE 21st CENTURY GLASS CEILING
1) Career Opportunities - Brandeis University's National Center
of Women and Aging documented the results of 55 intense caregivers and
reported an average of $659,000 in lost wages, lost Social Security and
pension contributions due to time off, and reduced opportunities for promotions,
training, and desirable job assignments. This study also supports the
figure that informal, home-based care represents 80% of all LTC in the
U.S., far outstripping the number of people cared for in nursing
homes, assisted living facilities and adult day care.
2) Future Opportunities: Arthur Anderson/Mass Mutual 1997 study said
that leadership of more than one/third of the nation's family-run businesses
will be changing hands in the next five years. These are not tiny companies.
The median company has 50 employees and generates annual revenues
of $9 million. About 5% of family businesses have a woman at the helm
today, but 1/4 of the respondents think their next CEO will be a woman.
This means that many more family-run business leaders of the future
will be women - UNLESS a primary caregiving role disrupts that plan!
A subset point is that 1/3 of all women-owned businesses are in CA, TX,
NY and FL -- all heavy centers for caregiving! In fact, more than one-third
of baby boomers live in these states plus PA and in 2030 nearly
30% of 65 and older population will live in these five states. (This
demographic probably plays a substantial role in the fact that these states
are in the top states for LTC insurance sales, as well.)
3) Financial: finding the time to keep a job and finding money
to help pay for a parent's care, as there are many, many more expenses
besides the actual cost of care. One-quarter of families who help older
relatives use money allocated for retirement and 12% use college funds.
4) Emotional: the stress of being divided between multiple family
members (an agent I met last week in Atlanta cited his grandmother who
is caring for her husband with Alzheimer's, her 50-year-old daughter
disabled from a stroke, and 3 grandchildren. Her mother is still alive
in another state.) Women are projected to spend more years caring for
aging family members than children, and the number of long-distance caregivers
is doubling in15 years. How many marriages can withstand 8, 10, 12
years or more of caregiving?
5) Relationship between caregiver and care recipient -- the role reversal
is so traumatic and functioning as primary caregiver sometimes destroys
the mother/daughter (father/daughter, etc.) relationship. When there are
other caregivers in the picture, you can still enjoy the quality
of the relationship -- with the person who needs care AND with other family
members who stand to suffer from neglect if your focus is on the
care recipient. (My mother and I had a horrible relationship which
we were able to resolve because there were caregivers in the picture and
I didn't have to be the primary caregiver. This was a tremendous blessing
6) Underwriting - two conditions can really hurt women's chances for
qualifying for LTC insurance (urinary incontinence and osteoporosis)
Point is to apply as young as possible.
7) Forcing children into adult roles at early ages due to the need for
help with caregiving.
8) Extended caregiving results in serious health problems for the caregiver,
so a women needs to think about the effect on her own health when
she is contemplating becoming a primary caregiver. A recent study
in the April, 2000 issue of The Gerontologist pointed out that
women caregivers are definitely more prone to clinical depression and
to report a lower quality of life than male caregivers. Men tend to bow
out of the caregiving when it becomes necessary to do personal care, whereas
women just stick it out, at great physical and emotional sacrifice.
Women who are planners will be sure spouses, parents, in-laws, etc. have
LTC insurance to ensure they (the women) have enough help if they are
cast into the role of caregiver.
9) Women, more so than men, don't want to be a burden on their
own children and they need long term care insurance if they are not going
to wind up that way.
10) DREAMS -- of "my turn" - whatever that may be -- going
back to school, going for a big promotion, starting our own business -
all the things we dream about while raising small children, etc.
"My turn" remains a dream when a primary caregiving situation
develops with a parent or spouse. Even when a parent has money to pay
for care (i.e. "self-insures"), SOMEONE has to manage
the care and make sure everything runs smoothly 24 hrs. a day. Care coordination
benefits in an LTC policy can mean the difference between having a life
and not having a life for the responsible adult child.
I can tell you that the representatives from the well-known consumer
publications that I met with appear to have very little current
knowledge about LTC insurance. They are operating with old information
and that hurts everyone. My 2000 book is on the market now, and
you will want to get a copy to update yourself on the newest policy features
and alternate funding ideas for long-term care with linked benefit products,
reverse mortgages, and life settlements. (The sources for the information
in this article are documented there as well.) Call 800-844-4893
for our 2000 materials and our 2000 training schedule.
I especially urge you to call for a brochure on our LTC
All-Stars meeting on July 25-27 in Nashville - 20 speakers who represent
some of the most successful LTC salespeople today will cover NINE
different LTC marketing areas. Three different music events . . . one
every night, of course! Don't wait - this is the top SALES meeting of
the year, not an industry meeting, not a regulatory meeting, not a legislation
meeting, but a SALES meeting! So CALL TODAY for your registration form
or hit our web site at www.ltcshelton.com.
Spread the word and keep on sellin'.