LTC Bullet: Marilee Driscoll Reports on the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit (Part 2 of 2)

Friday, August 8, 2008

Seattle-

LTC Comment: Todayís LTC Bullet is the second in a two-part series covering the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit as reported by your solid correspondent, Marilee Driscoll. Details after the ***news.***

***LTC TOUR MEDIA COVERAGE. Steve appears on Capital News 9, Capital Region, NY speaking about responsible LTC planning and the 2008 National LTC Consciousness Tour. Watch the video.***

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LTC Bullet: Marilee Driscoll reports on the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit (Part 2 of 2)

Writer bio:
Marilee Driscoll is a speaker, consultant, and Principal/Creative Director of www.FollowUpSystems.net, a company that makes it easy for LTCi agents to increase sales and referrals by staying in touch with contacts. She is also the founder of Long-Term Care Planning Month, founded in 2001, and the only LTC planning event listed in Chaseís Calendar, the official Guide to Holidays and Events. Become a sponsor and be listed at the web site now!
www.LTCmonth.com
Miss Driscoll is author of "The Complete Idiotís Guide to Long-term Care Planning." She is a gold sponsor of the Centerís LTC Consciousness Tour, and tour PR and marketing consultant.

Report TWO of TWO:
"Charting the Future of Long-Term Care Insurance"
The Second Annual Partnership Summit, July 9, 2008, Baltimore, MD

NOTE FROM YOUR CORRESPONDENT: When I decided to attend the Summit, Steve Moses asked if Iíd write a report for the Center. What youíll find below (and in the prior report) are what I consider to be the highlights for agents, of all the different presentations. Although you missed the great crabcakes in Baltimore Harbor, these reports are the next best thing to having attended!

  • Marilee Driscoll

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Presenters Mark Meiners Ph.D., Ted Pass, Aaron Vickar, Gail Holubinka, and Stephen Serfass, Esq. were discussed in Report ONE. This final report covers speakers Maryann Hack (former Director of the Indiana LTC Insur. Program (Partnership)), Don Grimes, and Phyllis Shelton.

 

MARY ANN HACK of Insight LTCI Services, LLC in Indianapolis shared her perspective, based in extensive LTC & Partnership experience. She spent five and a half years working inside a nursing home. In 1992, she was involved in the creation of Indiana's SCHIP program, and from 1995 to 2005, she was the Indiana Partnership program director.

She talked about the importance of getting the word out about Partnership and her experience working with PR firms and trying to replicate -- or trying to get PR -- without a PR firm.

She told a cautionary tale, that the Indiana Partnership Program, until the late 90s, ignored agents in their outreach programs. In Indiana, they did not believe that they had to involve the agent in order for Partnership policies to sell, since they were just such a great concept. They believed the consumers would drive the sales.

Not surprisingly, they learned a tough lesson. Subsequently, they tried a variety of ways to reach out to consumers (from radio, PSAs, to press releases, to consumer presentations, to direct mail, and a preferred agent list), and agents (including presentations to financial legal advisors, to CE agent courses, to newsletters). She urged the government employees in the room to not make the same mistake.

Her advice on spreading the word about Partnership on a shoestring budget or no budget included:
-Look for ways to make this topic newsworthy. Look for related topics that the media outlet is already covering.
-Find short, concise ways to discuss the message.
-Print media works the best.
-Find PR staff in related government entitles who can help.
-Writing and response to editorials are an inexpensive way to generate interest.

(Note from Marilee: these tips are good for agents looking to get media, too!)

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DON GRIMES, Executive Director of Long Term Care Insurance Specialists, a no profit. He shared some of what he has learned doing many presentations for the South Dakota Partnership Public Education Effort, 2007-2008. He talked about specific challenges regarding partnership presentations for the public, including:

  • Partnership is a confusing subject for most laypeople;
  • There is inaccurate press coverage;
  • The distribution channel (agents) is often not comfortable with the product;
  • There are scarce resources in order to bring this message to consumers.

Don talked about his prior career experience as a reporter and another job working at Proctor & Gamble, both which have positively influenced his ability to communicate in a very distinct way with the average person. Don went through his presentation emphasizing how important it was to break down key concepts into simple English and give examples that resonate with the audience.

One of my favorite slides of his was the one entitled Cure versus Care. Cure of course, is more traditional medical treatments. Care can be needed during and after the cure work is done. He described the 75-year-old grandma injured during gardening work and her grandson, a 30-year-old man injured in a rodeo injury. For the 75-year-old, he described what Medicare would cover, what Medicaid would cover, and what the long-term care partnership insurance policy would cover. For the grandson, the 30-year-old, the example explained what his health insurance would cover, what his disability insurance would cover, and what his long-term care partnership insurance policy would cover.

Two other great slides illustrated what LTCI is by means of a large circle representing the pool of money. Arrows detailed the daily benefit for nursing home, daily benefit for assisted living, daily benefit for community-based care. The second slide talked about how long the policy would pay for care at a cost of either $100/day or $200/day.

Grimes also recommended leveraging the resources that currently exist to reach groups of consumers, from associations, churches, Chambers of Commerce, government officials, etc.

 

PHYLLIS SHELTON, President of LTC Consultants and LTCItraining.com, presented an enlightening presentation on the yet-unanswered questions regarding each state's interpretation and implementation of partnership, especially as regards her business of agent training.

Here are some of the highlights of unresolved questions regarding partnership and training.

  • The Partnership mandates LTCI producer training. The NAIC requirement is at least eight hours initially and at least four hours every 24 months. DRA Partnership makes the carrier responsible for the agent "demonstrating an understanding."

  • Partnership producer training. How many hours will a state require for initial training? Phyllis pointed out that Kansas is not requiring any hours for initial producer training. Minnesota is requiring eight hours with a very specific matrix. Pennsylvania is requiring eight plus one, IRA is requiring for. Michigan and Nevada are letting the carriers determine.
  • How many hours for ongoing training? If there is a 24-month deadline, does it start from when the agent took the initial training, or is it the 24-month period after the training deadline? Is there a state-specific component? Is one stateís training reciprocal with other states? Is it required for all long-term care insurance producers? Is the deadline the same for all, or do producers who currently sell LTCI get an extended deadline?

  • There are also unanswered issues in many states for benefit and asset disregard, including:
    • Inflation
    • Exchanges
    • Reciprocity of asset disregard
    • Will asset disregard continue to grow?
    • Can a policyholder apply for Medicaid before benefits are exhausted?

-Another area of different state policies is the area of inflation requirements on Partnership policies. DRA has inflation requirements, based on the applicant age. For example, compound inflation is required under age 61. But, there are variances in the way inflation requirements are actually being interpreted by the states. For example, can a policyholder drop inflation protection after a certain number of years and keep the asset disregard? State-by-state, the answer varies, if there is an answer.

You can imagine how frustrating it can be to be in Phyllis' situation of being a national provider of training, while trying to get these answers and have your courses be in compliance.

Another consideration for national trainers is when requirements are added after a course has already been approved by the state.

A topic of particular interest for multi-state producers (agents) is whether training is reciprocal with other states.

Phyllis said most carriers are now requiring all producers to go through partnership training for combo products. A question that is still up in the air is whether a referral source needs go through partnership certification training, in order to be listed on the application for a commission slip.

Phyllis was joined in the session Q&A by CLAUDE THAU, President of Thau, Inc.

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