A rose is a rose is a rose.
— Gertrude Stein, “Sacred Emily,” 1913
Simply using a name can invoke the imagery and emotions associated with the name. There are immutable universal concepts in the world. Therefore, chronic illness is chronic illness is chronic illness. It’s the absence of the rose or the absence of chronic illness risk leveraging that demands our conceptual attention. I don’t care what you do to try to abrogate the risk exposure. I am, however, incensed when you ignore the problem.
When the dust settles, insurance professionals are really only concerned about what actions their clients choose not to take. My primary mission in every sales conversation is to explain what it means to not take advantage of my wise counsel.
Let me make this absolutely clear: Insurance professionals have a fiduciary responsibility, political mandate and ethical obligation to provide long term care risk leveraging alternatives.
This is simply one party no agent can afford to miss. The theme of the party is chronic illness. The term “chronic illness” is usually applied to illness lasting longer than three months—which, of course, defines benefit eligibility under HIPAA tax-qualified LTC insurance policies. Benefit eligibility is further defined under HIPAA as the inability to perform two of six activities of daily living as well as cognitive impairment. This basic definition is the primary ingredient of all chronic illness (LTC) insurance options.
As predicted, product alternatives are continuing to expand and proliferate. Life insurance combo policies now include single premium whole life and single premium universal life; level pay universal life with monthly expense charges; and level pay universal life without any current cost with expenses ultimately deducted out of benefit payments. Now, these rear-end load “living benefit” policies also include term life options. Combo annuities appear in two forms: account values plus a long term care benefit, and account values with an LTC insurance “kicker”—or multiplier of benefits (i.e., three times the account value).
Choices in the individual stand-alone LTC insurance market have also expanded: smaller policies, reduced inflation protection strategies and co-insurance alternatives provide something for everyone.
Which product or combination of products attempts to solve the risk exposure is not nearly as important as the commitment to do something (anything) to protect your client.
Multi-life continues to take advantage of “actively at work” underwriting philosophies, and spreading the risk thresholds can help many more with mild impairments acquire coverage.
In the final analysis all of these products equal one universal concept. The names don’t matter, only what they really are and what actions you take to use them to solve your client’s problem.
“A rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” William Shakespeare, Romeo and Juliet.
Other than that I have no opinion on the subject.
Ronald R. Hagelman Jr., CLTC, CSA, LTCP
Hagelman has been a teacher, cattle rancher, agent, brokerage general agent, corporate consultant and home office executive. As a consultant he has created numerous individual and group insurance products. A nationally recognized motivational speaker, Hagelman has served on the LIMRA and Society of Actuaries LTCI committees and is past president of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, as well as a master trainer for the LTCP professional designation. He is president of Republic Marketing Group and a principal in the agent sales training company Hagelman-Barrie Sales Training Solutions. Hagelman can be reached at Hagelman Consulting, PO Box 310707, New Braunfels, TX 78131. Telephone: 830-620-4066. Email: email@example.com. Website: www.iltcicentral.com.com.