Discussions:101,499. |. Messages:1,352,505. |. Members:85,225


Getting the word out about Long-Term Care Awareness Month

Brian Anderson

As you are hopefully aware, for the 14th annual time, November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month.

The primary objectives of the initiative, created in 2001 by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), are consumer education and, naturally, raising public awareness of the need for LTC coverage.

This year AALTCI Executive Director Jesse Slome has made an admirable effort to get the subject some attention from those who most need to know about it. First there was the special insert in the November issue of Kiplinger’s Personal Finance, on newsstands now, made possible with sponsorship from four carriers: Mutual of Omaha, New York Life, Genworth and Thrivent.

“The participation of four insurers marks the Association’s largest effort in many years,” says Slome, adding that the insert features four pages of high-impact messaging appearing in the widely read and influential personal finance publication. The AALTCI insert (cover pictured at right) focuses on the newest planning strategies and policy options that make long-term care insurance affordable. “These inserts share the latest industry data as well as some ideas that few consumers are aware of,” Slome says. “By having four pages in the magazine we are really able to deliver a lot of timely and valuable information.”

New York Life also launched its own program in conjunction with LTC Awareness Month, called “Talk to Ten,” which challenges agents to reach out to at least 10 people during November to discuss long-term care insurance. All agents who take the pledge to do so – several hundred have done so already – receive a free “Talk to Ten” kit containing free copies of an “LTC Decision Guide” for use during the campaign, “Talk to Ten” reminder tools, and ideas for maximizing reach during the November push.

Slome also put out a news release to the mainstream media about “a timely approach” to long-term care planning he advocates – “Good, Better, Best,” which was picked up in various forms by a number of outlets (see links on next page).

“It’s good knowing that millions are being exposed to the virtues of the ‘Good, Better, Best’ approach to long-term care planning,” Slome says. “It’s clearly a message that resonates because it gives people options as opposed to an approach that says, ‘Here’s your plan, take it or leave it.’ This is the perfect kickoff to our on-going efforts to educate consumers about the importance of planning for the very real risk of needing extended care.”

Slome notes that LTC products have improved, and says consumers in their mid-50s to early 60s will find the new options and innovations especially attractive – and affordable.

“Price matters to everyone but the super rich and the strategy we focus on helps consumers understand ways to make this important protection fit within their available budget,” Slome says.

• Have any LTC Awareness Month thoughts or ideas to share? Please visit this new thread.

Slome also issued an awareness month-themed release urging baby boomers to address their LTC planning needs.

“Americans are living longer and few have any plan in place to deal with the very real risk of needing extended care as the simple result of living a long life,” Slome says.

“Too many families wait to address long-term care and find they have very limited options once care is needed,” adds Tiffany Albert, president and CEO of LifeSecure Insurance Company, a LTC insurance provider and supporter of the Association’s efforts and Long Term Care Awareness Month. “Planning ahead is critical to ensure care is received in a preferred setting, such as at home, and avoid serious consequences that will impact the entire family.”

Many boomers still need to be prodded by agents and advisors to plan for old age and the health problems that come with it. They need to be reminded that the best time to plan, from a coverage standpoint, is now – before premium-rising health problems arise. They also need to be reminded of the consequences and risks of inaction – how an uncovered long-term care event could decimate retirement savings, their independence, and their loved ones who may have to absorb costs and become primary caregivers.

According to AALTCI’s Awareness Month report, over half (54%) of new long-term care insurance applicants are between ages 55 and 64. Insurers paid some $7.5 billion in claim payments to over 273,000 policyholders last year. Over half (51%) of new claims were for home care services and women accounted for 64% of claims.

For more information visit AALTCI’s Producer Resource Center.

• Have any LTC Awareness Month thoughts or ideas to share? Please visit this new thread.

Links to consumer articles:



Leave a Comment