Episode: Segment 4
Segment 4 of interview
Announcer: Back to the show, sure to move boomers and seniors forward on their aging journey, "Aging Info Radio" with Sue Zawacki.
Sue: I am here with Matt McCann. He's recognized as a leading Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist. And Matt has been writing...or working with families and writing policies since 1998, one of the top specialists in the country. And Matt, there's a lot of misconceptions about policies, about how expensive they are. The consumer reports also states that the premiums, the increases, you know, are really high so let's nip this in the bud.
Matt: This is hogwash. First off, premiums are extremely affordable. Insurance agents are...yeah, they don't know how to design these things. And there are, of course, those people in the middle and the media that don't necessarily understand what they're writing about as well.
First off, premiums are intended to remain level but not guaranteed to remain level. The only way a premium can go up in Long-Term Care Insurance is if the Department of Insurance proves a substantial need with the insurance company requesting it, having it go across the board to an entire class of people.
Have there been enforced rate increases? Yes, on older policies, there have. But in each and every one of those cases, even with the increase, the premium is still less than if that person would have bought the same policy today at that age that they bought it. Today, with Rates Stability Legislation, the risk of increases, while still there, it's just difficult to do so. And they can't pick on you, individually, unlike your home owner's insurance or your auto insurance can. And premiums are extremely affordable. A 53-year-old male, for example, in good health can get a solid policy for under $100 a month, under $100 a month.
Sue: Now are females more or less ?
Matt: Yes, females are more and, Sue, do you know why women...?
Sue: Because we just are.
Matt: Well, that's another story and another topic for another radio program. But women are a bigger risk because women live longer and they thrive in a care environment longer than men do statistically. So it's the exact opposite of health insurance or, excuse me, life insurance. Life insurance, of course, is less expensive for women for that same reason.
Sue: Mm-hmm. Now, there are life insurance policies that are putting these two together. What do you say about those?
Matt: Do you remember back, oh, in the '70s when you got your...you had this one device that had your TV, your VCR, your stereo, all together...?
Sue: A remote control?
Matt: All the component system on one device. And if one thing broke, the whole thing broke. Same thing here, all right? It's either a life policy or an annuity with a writer that will provide some benefit for Long-Term Care. I do not recommend them. First, they usually require a single premium… They're a single premium product for the most part. You're writing a big check, the big sell-out, of course, is "Well, if you don't die, guess what? You got a life benefit. You're getting a death benefit," okay? Or if it's an annuity, man, it's still your money. Well, the risk in needing care, a, is very high. These policies are not regulated like long-term care policies are. The triggers are a little bit different. They typically don't have inflation options, they don't have case management, they are not partnership certified, and they don't have all of the tax advantages.
Sue: Well, those are enough reasons that you may wanna keep them a part of you. You can also call Matt and he can meet with you to discuss exactly, put it down on paper exactly the distinctions of why you don't wanna a life and Long-Term Care Insurance policy together. Call Matt at (866) 751-7957. Let's talk about underwriting.
Matt: Oh, gee, you're really exciting. Talking about Long-Term Care Insurance, and underwriting, and...
Sue: No. But underwriting matters because a lot...
Matt: Yeah, you're right.
Sue: I mean how long does it take for someone to get a policy and what goes into the underwriting?
Matt: Well first, when we talk about underwriting, what we're doing is the process in order to get someone approved, okay? They just don't give you a policy that would be way to easy. You have to apply for it. And what they do, is there's health questions and applications. They get your medical records. You, obviously, have to sign the medical release electronically or on paper. You go through a telephone interview or in-person depending on your age. And then you also go through health questions, lifestyle questions, and a few memory questions.
We probably should put you for a word recall test. That would be fun. Maybe another show and that is fun, and maybe not for some people but... It takes about six weeks, generally, for the underwriters to gather all the information. And that's why, as a true specialist, I ask lots of health questions to a client well before we actually make an application. So that we can pick the right insurance company because each insurance company's requirements are different.
Sue: Completely different. So, who do you write insurance stuff, Long-Term Care Insurance policies for ?
Sue: All of the them.
Matt: All of them.
Sue: I mean but there must be a handful of top companies.
Matt: Well and certainly…
Sue: Of course.
Matt: Now, you have Mutual of Omaha, you have Genworth, you have John Hancock, you have Transamerica. You have a company which is LifeSecure which is BlueCross, BlueShield of Michigan. You have Metamerica which is Excellus BlueCross BlueShield of New York. There's a number of companies with products and it really doesn’t matter to me which company. What's most important is to match the company with the age and health of the applicant to find the best coverage at the best value.
Sue: Mm-hmm. You know, I just recognized your voice, Matt.
Sue: You know, I think you were on the radio at one time.
Matt: Oh, really? Do I have that face for radio? Is that what you're telling me, Sue?
Sue: I think so. Let's see. Come on, are you gonna give us that secret? Who are you with? Who are you on the radio with?
Matt: Oh, well, some people might remember me as I was the second, second fiddle to Uncle Lar, Larry Lujack. Of course, he was originally with Tommy Edwards. But when he came out of retirement, I was the guy that played Little Tommy and I got to work with Uncle Lar. That was a lot of fun.
Sue: Contact Matt at (866) 751-7957. He is the leading, Long-Term Care Insurance Specialist. And we're gonna get Matt's words of wisdom coming up next right here on "Aging Info Radio."