COVID-19 and the Impact on Long-Term Care Insurance

According to experts at the National Association of Insurance Financial Advisors (NAIFA) 2020 Impact Week: Focus on Long-Term Care conference, COVID-19 has highlighted health concerns and created unique challenges for Americans needing long-term care services. As a result, it has underscored the need for the insurance industry to plan ahead and adapt to changes in long-term care insurance (LTCI) products and services to better serve the market.  

The following is a consensus of what LTCI experts predict will be the top three pandemic-related drivers with the greatest impact on the LTCI industry moving forward.

More Americans want to remain in their homes longer. According to NAIFA, the increase in pandemic-related deaths in long-term care has prompted a growing desire for more Americans to avoid long-term care facilities and to stay in their homes for as long as possible — even if they develop conditions that require long-term care. As a result, more Americans are focusing on how to stay well and maintain good health for as long as possible in order to avoid LTC facilities. In response, the industry will likely see an uptick in hybrid LTCI and life plans that will allow insureds to remain in their own homes if and when the need for long-term care arises. 

Most Americans remain hyperfocused on their health. Today more Americans are implementing Center for Disease Control and Prevention best practices to stay safe from COVID-19. As the COVID-19 vaccine is rolled out and the country slowly begins the reopening process, Americans will continue to focus on staying well. To meet this trending need, insurers are coming to the table with new policy initiatives and products that include health and wellness programs to be offered in connection with their LTCI plans. 

COVID-19 has increased awareness of the need for long-term care. The number of pandemic-related deaths has shocked the world. At the same time, it has also increased consumer awareness regarding the need for LTCI coverage. As a result of the uncertainty of COVID-19, brokers and insurance companies are likely to experience an increase in more flexible and affordable consumer options for securing LTCI coverage such as group LTCI plans, the addition of LTC riders on life insurance policies and term life policy conversion options to provide access to coverage for future LTC needs.

Conclusion

Despite the market’s ups and downs, the LTCI industry continues to operate in a positive environment and pay out on claims for insureds. As an insurance professional working in what we hope soon will be a post-pandemic world, it’s worth your time to stop and consider who your LTC customers are who will benefit from LTC planning. According to NAIFA, a good place to start is with individuals who have personal experience — whether that’s theirs or a loved one’s — know how costly self-funding long-term care can be, don’t want to be dependent on family for funding their care and want to have a say in the quality of care they will receive. As the pandemic pushes consumer awareness of LTCI, agents and brokers should be encouraged to raise the topic of long-term care planning with their clients.

About FastrackCE

Need to complete your insurance continuing education credits? Let FastrackCE help you get all your life and health and property and casualty continuing education credits done in one place and at your convenience.  We offer online courses in most states covering a broad range of topics, including most of the state-mandated courses that include long-term care – to name just a few. For more information, call 800-544-3605 or visit us at fastrackce.com.

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