After reading a New York Times article about long term care insurance today I was both disgusted and encouraged with the information I found. The Charles Duhigg article talks about all the senior citizens who pay in enormous amounts of money to insure their long term care only to finally get to the point of filing a claim and being denied for absurd and really obscene reasons.

It talks about a company called Conseco that denied a long term care claim because the client”was not sufficiently infirm, despite her early-stage dementia and the 37 pills she takes each day.”

“In 2003, a subsidiary of Conseco, Bankers Life and Casualty, sent an 85-year-old woman suffering from dementia the wrong form to fill out, according to a lawsuit, then denied her claim because of improper paperwork. Last year, according to another pending suit, the insurer Penn Treaty American decided that a 92-year-old man had so improved that he should leave his nursing home despite his forgetfulness, anxiety and doctor’s orders to seek continued care. Another suit contended that a company owned by the John Hancock Insurance Company had tried to rescind the coverage of a 72-year-old man when he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease four years after buying the policy.”

It’s no wonder that the health insurance industry has a reputation today, and not a good one. It’s time for the National Assocation of Insurance Commissioners to reign in this type of abhorrent business practice. It is criminal for an insurance company to mistreat any customer, but to prey on the elderly in their zeal to sell long term care products, and then try to slither out from under their responsibility is just too much.

I assume you have been waiting for what I found encouraging in that article. I found encouragement in my own end of the insurance industry, life insurance. I find it encouraging that with all the claims that have been filed through our office, not one has gone unpaid. I found it encouraging that one of the largest providers of term life insurance was also cited in this article, but in a positive way. “By comparison, Genworth Financial, the largest long-term-care insurer, received only one complaint for every 12,434 policies.”

As an independent agent I would encourage those who are looking at long term care insurance to go the extra mile in your research. Complaints about insurance companies don’t come from nowhere. Lawsuits, while we are a litigious society, generally indicate an iceberg under the tip that you see. Buyer beware!

This post is somewhat dated. Life insurance underwriting is changing and evolving continually. For more updated information check out some of the key word links. If you have a specific question or topic you need information for do a search. If you don’t find the answers you need contact me and we’ll make sure you get the information that is important to you.

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