If your clients bring up Medicare or Medicaid as their fallback option for long-term care, make sure they truly understand what they’re getting into. Actually, make sure YOU understand what they’re getting into if they choose to rely on these programs.
Medicare: Short-term rehabilitative care. To qualify, you must spend three nights in a hospital and be deemed rehabilitative. Only the first 20 days are covered in full. Your client will pay a copay for days 21-100. After that? They’re on their own.
Medicaid: A federally funded, state-run welfare program for the impoverished. This won’t cover assisted living or in-home care. This is for nursing homes. Chances are, that’s not your clients first choice.
Help clear up any misconceptions about Medicare and Medicaid. Ask your clients:
Planning gives your clients the freedom and independence to get care in the place that’s going to make them the most comfortable. As opposed to the government saying, “This is where you’re going to go.”
The M-Words are just one piece of the long-term care discussion.
I’m no journalist, but I can tell you one thing about news: Bad news is almost always front-page news. I’m not even going to touch fake news – that’s beyond my professional expertise. But I do know a thing or two about long-term care … and our industry was hit by some pretty bad headlines in the past.
If your clients ask about the stories they heard a few years ago, you don’t have to beat around the bush. Yes, carriers had trouble paying claims. Many of them are no longer in the business for that reason alone.
Since those stories broke, the insurance industry stepped up and fixed many of its problems in the long-term care market. Today’s carriers want to help clients pay claims – they even offer concierge service to make sure it happens. The government also stepped in and added a layer of accountability with regulations and standards.
Address the issue head-on. Ask your clients:
Today’s long-term care insurance is better than ever. If you want to know more about the best carriers and products available, call your team at Ash Brokerage. We’re ready to help you and your clients asses the options.
The hardest part of the long-term care conversation isn’t the products. Or prices. It’s getting started. Face it: If you’ve put off having the talk with your clients, it’s because you’re not sure how to break the ice.
It doesn’t have to be hard. I personally use three simple questions to start things off. These aren’t something I made up – they came from my studies for the CLTC® designation. And they’re proven to work.
You don’t have to talk about funding. Or insurance plans, for that matter. All you need to do is make them see the importance of planning so you can head down that path – together.
Q1: Do you feel you’re going to live a long life?
Most clients will say yes. That’s good, but keep going.
Q2: Do you agree that the longer you live, the greater the likelihood that your health could become compromised and you may need extended care?
You might think this is blunt, but it’s the truth. No one thinks it’s going to happen to them. But statistics say otherwise.
Q3: If you needed care, how would that impact the people you love?
This question might be the most important. In my experience, clients don’t care what will happen to them. But they do care about what will happen with their loved ones. Whether it’s physical, emotional or financial, the impact of a long-term care event will have a ripple effect. This is what makes most clients think differently about long-term care planning.
In the next few weeks, I’m going to dive into the long-term care conversation. We’ll discuss the six most common client objections and how you can approach your responses – financially, emotionally or logistically.
There’s nothing worse than starting a life insurance case, having your client sign the paperwork and waiting 30 days … only to uncover an obstacle in underwriting.
“Oh, I didn’t tell you about that surgery? That medication? That DUI I had a few years ago?” No matter how much your clients trust you, there’s often a tiny – but hugely important – bit of information they forget to share.
When this happens, the last thing you want to do is reapply with another carrier, or explain to your client why the quote you gave them was way off. We get it. While we can’t give you perfectly healthy clients, we CAN help you see potential roadblocks BEFORE they become a setback.
With Life PreView, you email your clients a personalized, secure questionnaire to get an accurate snapshot of their health history. It will ensure you have the right product, with the right carrier, quoted at the right price – no awkward conversations, frustrating delays or reselling needed.
Your clients can complete the questionnaire in their own home, at their own convenience. They just need to have the following handy:
Stop looking for perfectly health clients and start looking for perfectly set expectations. When you use Life PreView, you’ll ensure accurate pricing, faster placement and, more importantly, happier clients. Try it on your next application!
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If you have single sign-on, connect through your company page as usual, then click Underwriting, then Preparing Your Clients.
When applying for a large life insurance case, it all comes down to underwriting. It’s part science, part gut feeling, but the underwriter can’t consider all the facts unless you provide them.
A cover letter can be the key to getting insurance issued. It helps differentiate your case while providing underlying details around financial needs, medical history and lifestyle.
This is your opportunity to influence the underwriter and explain why your client is a good risk to insure. A good cover letter will:
EXPLAIN THE NEED
What is the purpose(s) for the requested insurance coverage? Paint a clear picture and be detailed.
JUSTIFY THE AMOUNT
How was the amount of coverage determined? Explain your process and substantiate it.
EXPLORE FINANCIAL DETAILS
How will the policy be funded? Communicating the complete financial picture is KEY to getting a policy issued and some cases may involve full financial statements.
DISCLOSE EXISTING COVERAGE
What other in-force and applied-for insurance exists? Include clear ownership and beneficiary designations, amounts, and information on any policies that will be replaced.
VALIDATE PRODUCT SELECTION
Why did you choose this product? Set the expectation of the quoted rate class and why you chose it.
REVEAL UNDERWRITING CONSIDERATIONS
What critical lifestyle factors exist? Share the underlying facts up front – favorable or not. It’s better to form an opinion, rather than change the opinion of an underwriter. Include details such as exercise, diet, preventative medical care, and longevity of parents, as well as non-medical items such as foreign travel and avocations.
CREATE A CONNECTION
What personal details are relevant? Establish your relationship and don’t be afraid to include commentary on key facts. Make it known this is a good risk to insure.
When reviewing your letter, it’s important to think like an underwriter. Ask these questions one last time:
If the insurance is related to a business, the letter needs to extend beyond the basics, including tax forms, an overview of ownership/beneficiary structure, detailed financials and more.
Your Ash Brokerage underwriting and case management teams are partners in client advocacy. Each of us has unique roles and talents. But, we’re here for the same reason: We’re in the business of caring.
Every day, we show up and get to work, fighting for your clients. When advisors need strategic problem solvers who go beyond what’s expected, time after time, we’re their first call.
Highly trained and experienced in both medical and non-medical underwriting challenges, our team has a diverse insurance industry background, from brokerage to home office, including an on-staff medical director, a registered nurse and strong relationships with the underwriting teams at insurance carriers.
Give us a try on your next case and see why we don't just process cases - we compete to win.
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