LTC Bullet:  Virtual Visit to the 18th Annual ILTCI Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada

Friday, March 30, 2018

Seattle—

If you couldn’t attend last week’s 18th Annual Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference in Las Vegas, you missed out. But don’t fret. Your Center for Long-Term Care Reform has you covered. We attended and will provide our “Virtual Visit” of this must-attend LTCi industry conference after the ***news***.

*** HAPPY BIRTHDAY:  The Center for Long-Term Care Reform will turn 20 years old on Easter Sunday. No April fooling. Steve Moses and attorney David Rosenfeld founded the Center on April 1, 1998. Today, our mission continues: “to ensure quality long-term care for all Americans.” We wish to thank our many generous supporters for their financial and moral support through the years. We could not have reached this milestone without you. ***

*** CLTCR Premium Membership  --  Center for Long-Term Care Reform premium members receive our full suite of individual membership benefits including:

  • All LTC Bullets and E-Alerts
  • Access to our Members-Only Zone website and Almanac of Long-Term Care
  • Subscription to our Clipping Service
  • Email/phone access to Steve Moses for 24-hour turnaround queries

Our Premium Membership is designed to give you a competitive advantage in your long-term care profession. Your increased knowledge of the critical issues and challenges we face in the field of long-term care service delivery and financing equals improved professional success for you and better LTC services for your clients and for those who have no choice but to rely on scarce public resources. 

Stay on the forefront of professional knowledge and help us fight for rational long-term care policy reform by contacting Damon at 206-283-7036 / damon@centerltc.com to start your Premium Membership immediately or go directly to our secure online subscription page and sign up for as little as $21 per month. ***


LTC Bullet:  Virtual Visit to the 18th Annual ILTCI Conference in Las Vegas, Nevada

The 18th Annual Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference, held March 18-21, at the Paris Hotel & Casino in Las Vegas, NV was another excellent industry event. Attendance was high at over 1,000 attendees, 60+ exhibitors and nearly 40 sponsors. An ample 45+ breakout sessions covered a diverse array of topics:

  • Actuarial
  • Legal, Regulatory & Compliance
  • Claims & Underwriting
  • Marketing, Distribution & Sales
  • Traditional, linked and combination products
  • Technology

These educational sessions combined with the high caliber of attendees, exhibitors and sponsors offered plentiful occasions for valuable learning and professional development, while receptions and meals provided many indispensable opportunities for networking with a diverse range of industry professionals. With Steve unable to attend the conference and Damon busy volunteering at conference registration, our coverage will be limited; however, we attended some sessions, mingled with attendees and received a sense for the state of the long-term care insurance industry.

Every year the Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference takes the pulse of the LTCi industry and offers direction forward. To that end, “A Matrix of Opportunities” was the tagline for this year’s conference and that optimism filled the agenda. According to the conference website’s homepage:

A quiet revolution is taking place in the long-term care insurance industry.  More interest than ever is being focused on private sector solutions to the growing societal issues pertaining to long-term care. Planning choices for consumers are growing at a rapid pace.  Insurance companies are developing new innovative approaches to providing long-term care liquidity at various life stages and insurance agents and financial advisors are showing renewed interest in talking to consumers about their long-term care planning needs.

With entitlements and social programs strained, longevity and healthcare costs increasing, caregiver supply decreasing and the age wave cresting, how we finance long-term care now and in the future is a demographic, political and fiscal Rubik's Cube. This year’s ILTCI conference contributed to solving that multi-dimensional puzzle by hosting the innovators who are offering new directions and products designed to save people from the risk and cost of long-term care.

The conference opened with keynote speaker, Vinh Giang, a business person and magician. From his profile:

Vinh’s mission in business and life is to share the psychology of illusion. He has devoted himself to understanding the ways in which people are fooled by illusions and by the tricks we play on ourselves. During his presentations, he demonstrates how this occurs. 

By all accounts Mr. Giang’s presentation was engaging and the strong work ethic he espoused was something with which people in the long-term care insurance industry could identify.

Mr. Giang got the conference off to a good start. Next, we’ll provide a summary of some of the sessions we attended. We stuck primarily to the “Public Policy & Alternative Financing Solutions” and “Producers & Sales” tracks, but there were plenty of other worthwhile tracks to follow and sessions to attend. Access the complete conference schedule here for session information and presentation documents not provided below.

We’ll begin with three sessions focused on long-term care financing innovation:

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Session: The Case for Variable LTC Insurance
Track: Public Policy & Alternative Financing Solutions
Speakers: Joan Melanson, CLTC, LTCP - Long Term Care Partners, LLC - Director of Program Promotions / Marc Cohen, PhD - University of Massachusetts - Clinical Professor of Gerontology / Paul Forte - Long Term Care Partners, LLC - Chief Executive Officer / Roger Loomis, FSA, MAAA - Actuarial Resources Corporation (ARC) – Principal
Documents: Presentation, The Case for Variable Insurance - Final Contingencies

Highlights:

This session was a perfect example of top LTCi industry professionals offering creative innovation in the field of long-term care financing. From the session’s description:  

The LTC industry has been dealing with the ongoing challenges of rate increases. But what if, instead of attempting to fine-tune the LTCI premium after the fact, we were to allow the benefit to fluctuate from the outset, such that it would track and reflect emerging experience over time?

Presenter, Roger Loomis, used an apt oil drilling analogy to describe this. When people seek to extract oil from underneath an ocean they don’t simply set up an oil rig, point a drill towards oil and hope for the best. They find out exactly where the oil is, point the drill and make countless corrections to the drill’s course until the exact destination is reached. The session continued by exploring the viability of using a similar approach to LTCi using a variable benefits design.

See the session’s documents for further details.  

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Also in the vein of offering creative alternative financing solutions, we attended:

Session: Consumer View of New Long Term Care Combination Products
Track: Public Policy & Alternative Financing Solutions
Speakers: Eileen Tell, MPH - ET Consulting, LLC - Independent Consultant / John O'Leary - O'Leary Marketing Associates – President / Vincent Bodnar, ASA, MAAA - Genworth - SVP, Product Management / Cindy Malone - Maddock Douglas - Senior Vice President Research
Documents: Presentation

Session’s online description:

While consumers today better understand the risks and costs of needing long term care, there is a significant gap between awareness and action. The lack of viable solutions, from the consumer perspective, is a key factor. The social marketing literature defines two key elements needed for behavior change: (1) awareness of the problem and (2) offering solutions which consumers deem as viable and appropriate. Based on very limited product acceptance, current mainstream private LTC insurance products do not satisfy the latter component. Hence an interest in creating new and affordable coverage options for consumers. Two new product concepts – LifeStage and Retirement Plus – have emerged from the Society of Actuaries’ Think Tank as creative ways to combine LTC coverage with existing financial vehicles to create new kinds of combination products. This session reports on findings from consumer research to understand how well these new options might meet consumers’ needs. The research also includes a demand model to estimate market potential.

See the session’s documents for further details.

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Session: Home as a Strategic Asset for Retirement and Long Term Care Needs
Track: Public Policy & Alternative Financing Solutions
Speakers: Eileen Tell, MPH - ET Consulting, LLC - Independent Consultant / Amy Ford - National Council on Aging (NCOA) - Senior Director, Home Equity Initiatives and Social Accountability / Barbara Stucki, Ph D. - NestCare FPC - Cofounder and CEO / Sandra Timmermann - American College of Financial Services - Visiting Professor of Gerontology and Retirement Living
Documents: Presentation

Session’s online description:

Home equity represents a significant portion of the financial net worth of older adults, most of whom want to age in place in their current homes. Despite the importance of home equity as part of the financial portfolio, recent research shows that older homeowners do not understand the home equity release products available to them. They also do not know how to decide when and how to leverage home equity in addressing retirement concerns. Greater education and understanding could enhance affordability to buy long term care insurance or pay for in-home care through the appropriate use of home equity release options. This session summarizes new consumer survey findings on the topic and identifies new and improved home equity product options.

Here we have another session focusing on solutions for financing retirement and long-term care needs. Basically, the home is a “pot of money” that people can use to help finance the many costs associated with aging. However, homeowners are at odds with tapping their homes’ equity because they are stuck between an emotional connection to their home on one side and their financial needs on the other. Furthermore, it doesn’t help that home equity release products are poorly understood. This session helped to reconcile all the facets of the home equity dilemma and presented home equity as a viable retirement and long-term care planning asset.

See this session’s presentation for further details.

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THE HUMAN INTERFACE

Innovative products are nothing without innovative people to connect them with the right consumers. The next session we attended covered successful sales strategies to do just that.

Session: Return of the Jedi: Best Practices of the Masters
Track: Producers & Sales
Speakers: Terry Truesdell - National LTC Network - President/CEO / Matt McCann - McCann Insurance Services – Owner / Jim Dawson, CLTC - PNW Insurance Services - Agency Mentoring Leader / Melissa Barnickel, CPA, CLTC - Baygroup Insurance LLC - Accountant & Insurance Broker / Sally Leimbach, CLU®, ChFC®, CEBS, LTCP, CLTC - TriBridge Partners LLC - Senior Consultant for Long Term Care Insurance
Documents: Presentation

Session’s online description:

This panel discussion of leading producers and Jedi Masters will share the business practices that have allowed them to build large books of business and to maintain a steady flow of new business. When not fielding questions from the audience they will be sharing tried and true closing techniques, as well as the elements of a successful placement rate ranging from effective field underwriting and solidifying the sale to client communications and referral generation.

Highlights:

Sally Leimbach eschews stupidity in her sales strategy by flipping the KISS (Keep It Simple, Stupid) approach. She espouses KISUI: “Keep It Simple, Understandable and Intelligent.” Perfect. Everyone involved in the LTCi sales transaction is intelligent and should be treated that way.

Useful sales tips were provided in abundance from these experienced sales pros, but some session attendees shared their sales techniques as well. One attendee shared a crowd-pleaser something to the effect of: “2 out of 3 people will need long-term care. I already decided I won’t, so it looks like you will.”

See this session’s presentation for each speaker’s “Pearls” of wisdom.

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Branding and marketing are other key human elements in the sales process. The next session we attended employed the expertise of four more sales savants to explore the empirically successful methods they use to effectively brand and market their services.

Session: Building YOUR Brand
Track: Producers & Sales
Speakers: Denise Gott, MBA, CLTC - ACSIA Partners – CEO / Marilee Driscoll – Speaker / Honey Leveen, LUTCF, CLTC - Your LTCI Specialist – Owner / Betty Doll, MBA, CLTC - Doll & Assoc. Long Term Care Insurance Services - Owner/Broker
Documents: Presentation

Session’s online description:

In today’s world, everyone is connected to others electronically and your life is very visible. So, YOU have a brand that your client will see. Is it what you want? Learn from marketing experts how to create a positive brand that will attract clients. Also, covered are the latest methods of: creating/utilizing a website, generating new leads and referrals, utilizing social media, and general effective marketing techniques.

Highlights:

This session covered key elements such as logo format, design and size (keep it simple); how to choose a website domain; how to yield beneficial web search results; and how to keep in contact with your clients and prospects (newsletters). Ultimately, building a brand is a “get rich slow” process.

See this session’s presentation for further details.

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Closing session: The Coming Revolution in Long Term Caregiving: The Future is Now!

The conference closed with a shift from long-term care planning innovation to caregiving innovation. Caregiving is a dangerous job and with long-term care needs increasing and available caregivers declining, technology is the future of caregiving. Specifically, robots. Speakers, Jeremy Pincus, PhD and Marjorie Skubic, PhD, were not fantasizing about science fiction; they were describing the current technological advances in robotics and how they will fill the “caregiver void.” Will caregiving robots prove to be “Disruptive Innovation” for the long-term care industry?

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Final thoughts:  What I take home from each ILTCI conference is a renewed sense of appreciation for the LTCi industry and all the talented people in it who devote themselves to protecting others from the risk and cost of long-term care. It’s a diverse group of attendees, but I’ve noticed that what draws many to the industry (and to these conferences) are personal long-term care experiences and the resulting desire to help others plan for their long-term care needs. Many thanks are due to Jim Glickman, everyone on the conference organizing committee, Meeting Masters, A/V crew, Paris hotel staff and, of course, all the sponsors, exhibitors, speakers and attendees for making this event exceptional.  See you next time.