Met Life to Discontinue Selling LTC Insurance

Met Life says it will halt sales of long-term-care insurance. Coming from one of the thought leaders in aging that is pretty serious news. More and more insurers have given up this product because they underestimated the claims they would pay out over time and so did not price their policies accordingly.

Part of it is our culture. We are ranked 37th in the World Health Organization and we don’t take care of ourselves. Plagued with chronic conditions it is no wonder there is more of a demand for these services. Yet only eight million have long-term-care insurance in the U.S.

According to a Wall Street Journal article, MetLife’s “$36 million in sales last year were dwarfed by perennial industry leaders John Hancock Financial, at $116 million, and Genworth Financial Inc., at $108 million, according to Broker World.” And Hancock is asking state regulators for an average 40% increase for about 850,000 of its 1.1 million long-term-care policyholders.

Health care reform only scratched the surface in terms of aging services. Sure there will be a CLASS Act come January. But it is voluntary and does not pay much. There is tsunami of crisis heading our way with an aging population.

If long-term care insurance goes away there are few good choices for payment. The scenario now is: if hospitalized for three consecutive days and you enter a facility, Medicare will help for a while. Then it is about self-pay then exhausting your funds then qualifying for Medicaid. My advice if you can afford it. But long-term care insurance now. It will never be cheaper. And it will certainly be needed by many.