Goetze Gets It
Tuesday October 31, 2000
One of the commonest criticisms we hear of private long-term care insurance is that many agents who sell it are not well trained. Sometimes, what passes as "agent abuse" is little more than well-intentioned missteps grounded in ignorance and inexperience rather than intentional misconduct. Furthermore, agents aren't the only problem. Our LTC Bullets frequently point out errors of commission and omission by reporters, financial planners, elder law attorneys and other authors who presume to advise the public about long-term care financing. That's why top-quality education and training on LTC service delivery, financing alternatives, and insurance must be high priorities for anyone who serves or advises the public in the field of long-term care.
All professional advisers of the elderly including the media should take note of two fine books by Jason Goetze--"Long-Term Care," the third edition (1999) of his continuing education (CE) coursebook and "Long-Term Care Suitability" (2000), his newest CE offering. Both are published by Dearborn Financial Publishing, Inc. You can purchase either or both for $27 each with an extra $25 for the CE exams by calling 1-800-521-3395 or by visiting www.dearborn.com. Because of the wide overlaps of covered material, youmay want to choose only the more general of these books. On the other hand, the unique material in "Suitability," i.e. how to tailor a long-term care insurance policy to the special needs and unique circumstances of individual prospects, is also well worth read.
"Long-Term Care" contains excellent chapters on the challenge of long-term care, LTC providers, Medicare and Med-Sups, Medicaid and Medicaid planning, policy features, design options, the insurers, the market, the "LTC environment," and alternative approaches. "Suitability" adds an excellent fact finding and analysis tool plus chapters on the evolution of LTC insurance, tailoring policies to meet individual needs, and case studies in suitability.
Unfortunately, neither book is without its faults. An almost total absence of footnotes, for example, makes checking doubtful claims and interpretations or tracking down mistaken data impossible. Some of the material on average length of stay was incorrect and wrongly interpreted. We provided several comments and suggestions to Goetze and his editor, who responded "we view your criticisms as wanted help. We sure will address them at the first opportunity we have to make corrections to the texts." Fortunately, such problems are relatively few in these books.
We strongly recommend both of the Goetze/Dearborn courses as economical, self-taught alternatives to the expensive "certification" programs also available in the marketplace.