Finally! Some GOOD news for the Long Term Care Insurance Industry
Drum roll... I'm thrilled to report that for the first time in three years, both individual and group long-term care insurance sales are UP – with double digit growth – according to 2010 LTCI industry sales figures!
Because sales have been down for the past several years, many insurance professionals have not concentrated on LTCI, some have lost focus. But I'm telling you, now is the time to get back in and re-dedicate yourself to an industry that has tremendous potential and where we can all make a difference by helping American families plan ahead for long term care. Take advantage of the double-digit sales growth trend while it's here!
Just last week, I had an agent call in from Wisconsin who uses my selling systems and has over $1,000,000 in LTCI premium on the books. He told us that he had gotten away from LTCI for the past two years mostly because of sluggish sales and little consumer interest. The very next sentence out of his mouth was that all of a sudden, the number of calls coming into his office asking about LTCI has tripled and he's back in with both feet and writing a huge amount of LTCI again! That's a real life story from a LTCI veteran – people are looking to insure the risk again.
Why have the calls tripled? Because consumer interest is UP – finally! Seeing family members blow through half a million dollars in three or four years is an everyday experience. According to a recent AARP study, workers over age 50 listed not having enough money to pay for long-term care as second in importance behind the concern that retirement income may not keep up with inflation. That concern translates to the #1 reason people are telling me they want to buy LTCI is because they don't want to be a burden on their kids.
For those of you who know me, I always speak from personal experience and I know what it is like to be a producer because I am one, just like you. Consumers contact me regularly and I help them if they don't have a local agent so I can keep my finger on the pulse of this industry. I've been helping Blue Cross sell worksite cases in Tennessee for five years with double digit participation. In just the last six months, I've been able to help consumers with traditional individual and true group plans, combo life and annuity products, short-term care plans and even a whopping life settlement!
In addition to figuring out the product mix, I've had to learn how to retool my sales and technology skills to sell on the phone and internet. There's a lot of new stuff to learn about today's LTCI market!! How about this for starters?
Long-term care insurance is not a senior product anymore.
On every case I work on, I'm thinking "How can I make this easier so I can teach it to others?" With 46 states projecting budget deficits for 2012, NOW IS THE TIME we must step up and make sure every community knows that long-term care insurance is a viable and cost-effective alternative to relying on Medicaid.
For the 4th year in a row, states are dealing with exploding Medicaid costs by proposing deep cuts in K-12 and higher education, public health, services for the elderly and disabled and other essential state services, along with more state employee lay-offs and reduced work schedules. Over 30 states have raised taxes in addition to cutting state services.
According to the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities, these cuts will delay the nation's economic recovery and undermine efforts to create jobs. Now consider that we have 140 million active employees in the country vs. 71 million people accessing Medicaid today. This low ratio of two taxpayers compared to every person on Medicaid creates an untenable situation as demand for Medicaid dollars continues to grow.
What does all of this have to do with long-term care insurance? Simple.
Every dollar of long-term care insurance benefits is a dollar that didn't decrease the state budget and cause higher tuition costs, fewer scholarships and higher property, sales and state income tax dollars.
So, I have decided that it is time for me to speak out and share all the new things I've learned with those who want to stay in the LTCI game. But rather than require you to travel to Nashville or some other destination and pay a high seminar fee, I am going to do it in a series of six, one hour webinars – one per week over 6 weeks, beginning August 10th.