Protecting Those Who Care For Others

Women often try to find the right balance between juggling careers, spending time with family, and caring for loved ones.

With women living longer, and providing more caregiver services, they become more vulnerable to long-term care issues.

Now is the perfect time to increase your focus on existing and potential female prospects to expand your LTC Insurance business.

How You Can Help:

Women may spend their entire lives taking care of other people.  You can help them create strategies to plan for their future and help protect their retirement assets.  An LTC Insurance policy can help protect their assets and help them maintain independence in the future.

To increase your reach and help your female clients take the first step to long-term care planning, consider these scenarios:

  • Married Couples:  Husbands often need care first, leaving less assets for the wife to use for her own care.  Review your clients’ long-term goals to ensure both parties have a care plan for the future.
  • Same-Sex Couples:  Current financial planning rules can make it tricky to access a partner’s assets when care is needed.  Help your clients design a plan to share each other’s benefit dollars.
  • Widowed/Divorced:  When a woman becomes divorced or widowed and has no children, there may be no one to take care of her.  Almost 70% of women age 75 or older are widowed, divorced, or never married, compared to only about 30% of men.  Explain to your female prospects the value of Long-Term Care planning and how a policy can help them protect their future.
  • Adult Children of Aging Parents:  In helping adult children with their own LTC planning, they can purchase coverage and have access to our Caregiver Support Services Benefit, which is a great source for advice and helpful information should a long-term care event arise for an uninsured family member, especially Mom.
Reasons to Plan:
  • 60% of LTC Insurance policies are issued to women, indicating that women are acknowledging the need for care.
  • 80.6 years is the current life expectancy for women.  The current life expectancy is 75.2 years for men.
  • Over 1 million women are in nursing homes; versus only 400,000 men.
Expand Your Target Market

Look for local women’s organizations in your area and consider hosting an LTC planning seminar to educate women on the risk of not having a plan and the comfort of having one.

Contact Us

Our expert team can offer advice on discussing Long-Term Care with women and how to approach their concerns. Contact us today to learn more.

Upgrades In Underwriting

There are times when one pesky impairment keeps a case from getting a Preferred or better offer.  It may even lead to a loss of the sale.

One of our carriers has an underwriting program that can give that little push needed to get Preferred classes and help to make the sale.

This program allows for a one class upgrade if the reason for a less favorable rating is based on one of these categories: build, cholesterol, blood pressure or family history.  If the remaining three categories all fall within the better rate class guidelines, the upgrade is applied.  Whether your client is applying for Term or Permanent coverage, this upgrade is available for both products, up to age 70, and even includes smoker classes.

Case Example:

A 60 yr old male’s build places him in a Preferred class.  If his blood pressure, cholesterol and family history all fall within Preferred Best guidelines, he will be improved to Preferred Best.

Take a look at these other underwriting strengths this carrier has to offer:

The One Table Reduction Program can help on substandard cases.  It provides a one table improvement on substandard classes for clients through age 70.  For example, Table B offers can now be improved to Standard.  This is available on both Term and Permanent products

Recreational pipe use can be considered for non-tobacco rates under the same guidelines as recreational cigar use.  For example, Preferred non-tobacco is possible if use if no more than once per month with negative nicotine on urinalysis.

Scuba diving can be considered for Preferred Best rates based on the following criteria:  Resort diving up to 35 feet deep and no more than 6 dives annually or up to 75 feet for certified divers using the buddy system and no more than 10 dives annually.

Interested in learning more about this carrier and how we can help your clients achieve the best possible underwriting outcomes?  Contact your Underwriter for more information.

Are You Protecting Your Clients From The Rising Cost Of Long-Term Care?

While the cost of long-term care among all providers has increased, the cost of facility-based care has grown at a much greater rate than home care.

While your clients have more choices than ever before, it is vital to be aware of the associated costs in order to build a better asset protection plan.

Consider This:

We have seen long-term care costs march higher year after year.  If you live to 65, there is a 70% chance you will need some form of long-term care services, so creating a sound financial plan for managing future costs is very important.

The majority of claims are paid out for home care or for an assisted living facility, which typically costs much less than a nursing home.  The national median rate for a home health care aide is $20 per hour, with the annual five year growth being only 1.32%.

Assisted living facilities have the highest annual five year growth rate of 4.29%, with the national median rate at $3,500 per month.  A private room in a nursing home is not far behind with an annual five year growth rate of 4.19%, and the national median rate will set you back $240 per day.

As these costs continue to rise, your clients’ assets are at greater risk.  Considering the average three year claim, in 25 years, figuring on a 3% inflation rate, the average claim will reach $840,000 for a private room in a nursing home.  Are your clients prepared for that expense?

Give your LTC Sales Rep a call today to help you design a plan to protect your clients’ assets – their families will thank you for it.

DI Case Study On An NFL Running Back

As the 2019-2020 football season has come to an end, it’s timely to share a case study for an NFL running back we worked on.

In this case, the player was approaching free agency and his biggest paycheck to date.  To protect himself and his future income, he needed an insurance policy in place before he hit the field in the fall.

Read on to learn more about this case study and the insurance solution that was developed to solve it.

Client

A running back on an NFL team, who was approaching free agency.

Situation

After being drafted in the second round of the NFL draft and completing three successful seasons, the player was approaching free agency and his biggest paycheck to date.  To protect himself and his future income, he needed an insurance policy in place before he hit the field again in the fall.

Assessment

Due to the physical nature of the sport, it was made apparent that if the player suffered an injury or illness resulting in a permanent total disability before he signed a new contract, his future income would be lost.  The first policy placed covered $5 million in benefit, but his recent stellar performance moved the advisor on the case to request an increase in disability benefit at the time of renewal.

Solution

Our Disability Income Support Team worked with the player’s Agent and Insurance Advisor to develop a $10 million permanent total disability policy, which would soften the blow in the event the player became permanently totally disabled before his next big contract was signed.

Result

This tax-free benefit gave the player peace of mind – if he suffered a serious injury or illness while playing football, his future contract and lifestyle would be protected.

The premium for this case was roughly $90,000 plus taxes and fees.

Even though NFL super-stars need specialized coverage due to the nature of their sport, it’s important to remember that high-earning individuals have a gap in disability income protection as well.

Contact your DI Sales & Marketing Specialist for more information on unique DI solutions.

Irrevocable Trusts: Pay The Trustee

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away I remember reading an IRS Private Letter Ruling that had about it the worst method an insured/grantor could use to pay premiums on a policy inside an irrevocable trust.

He was the sole owner of a business that each year cut a check directly to the carrier for the total amount due.  The taxpayer was asking for a determination as to whether this quick-and-easy A-to-B transaction for maintaining a policy outside of his taxable estate would be deemed an incident-of-ownership resulting in the inclusion of the benefit in his taxable estate at death.

I’ve searched half-heartedly and unsuccessfully for the ruling.  But if memory serves me well, which it well may not, the Service did some “deeming”, but not in the unfavorable direction of finding an incident-of-ownership anywhere in the works.

It treated the taxpayer’s monetary circumlocution as: first, deemed income to the taxpayer from the company that must be reported as income; second, a deemed gift from the taxpayer to the trust that must be reported as such; then third, a deemed premium payment by the trustee to the carrier – all without giving rise to any incident-of-ownership in the grantor/insured.  Well, how about that?

It’s tempting to jump on such reasoning when it becomes bothersome to set up a trust checking account, or go through the multi-step process of actually gifting money to the trust and hoping that the godparent of the beneficiaries (who graciously offered to serve as trustee) doesn’t forget to pay premiums in the years following his or her retirement to the beach.  But there are some serious concerns created by the convoluted route taken by the premium in the illusive PLR mentioned.

If avoiding gift taxation is dependent on use of available annual exclusions then two things are necessary to qualify for protection.  The beneficiaries must receive notice of their right to withdraw contributions made on their behalf, usually accomplished through timely “Crummey letters”.  More important, the trustee should be in a position to actually fulfill requests from beneficiaries should they choose to exercise their Crummey withdrawal privilege.

If the only asset in the trust is the policy and the cash for premiums that constitute the annual gift merely flies over the trust each year, the Service is in a strong position to argue that the present interest necessary to qualify for the exclusion is only an illusion.

In addition, a properly drafted irrevocable trust implemented to keep death benefits free of estate taxation will only allow and not require a trustee to purchase life insurance on the grantor’s life.  This avoids any argument of grantor control over the policy.  However, if each year, premiums are paid directly to the carrier the grantor has, in effect, forced the trustee to purchase coverage.  So, how do you spell a-u-d-i-t?

Too often shortcuts are taken in the establishment of irrevocable trusts and too often insufficient attention is given to their ongoing administration.  While it is not the legal responsibility of the insurance advisor to see that all is done according to Hoyle, it should be his or her annual practice to make sure that the proper parties are fulfilling theirs.

Contact your Advanced Markets Team with questions you have concerning your casework that involves trust planning or estate and gift tax concerns.