Due to on-going claims experience that shows more women use their long-term care policies and live longer using them has resulted in an industry-wide decision by virtually all carriers to go from “unisex” pricing to “gender-distinct” pricing. In effect, therefore, LTCi premiums for females will be higher than those for males. (This is not unusual for health insurance – DI has been gender-distinct for quite a while now.)
John Hancock announced today that it will start applying the new rates on new business beginning April 26 in 36 states*.
What this means is that even though a state may not be on the list, it most likely will be soon. Since women are particularly vulnerable to needing long-term care, it is imperative that all of us involved in long-term care insurance sales have a discussion about long-term care with our female clients and accounts as soon as possible. At the very least, an email or article in the agency newsletter should include this information.
This does not constitute legal advice, but I would strongly suggest that the discussion be documented in writing and that if the person declines to consider any kind of long-term care insurance solution that the documentation of that decision be signed and dated by both you and the client or account-holder. If the person refuses to sign, you sign it, and file it. It probably won’t stand up in court years down the road, but it goes to “intent” and demonstrates due diligence on your part. It’s better than not having anything.
*Alabama, Alaska, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Mexico, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Vermont, Virginia, Washington, West Virginia, Wisconsin, Wyoming. Montana will remain with unisex rates, as it does not permit gender-distinct rates. Other states will be added after approval from those states’ Departments of Insurance.