“One major insurer now requires a 90-day waiting period after full recovery [from Covid], and another has a six-month waiting period,” before benefits claims are honored, added Slome.

In a way, all this is understandable. Carriers want clients who are less likely to make claims. Yet the demand is also the highest from those most likely to make claims. “The consumers who are most interested in the coverage are those who see long-term care in their future—and perhaps imminently,” said Len Hayduchok, the CEO and president of Dedicated Financial Services in Lewes, Del., and Hamilton, N.J.

This disconnect between supply and demand could put the industry at risk. “LTC insurance is becoming an almost unviable value proposition in the market,” said Hayduchok.

Consequently, more people than ever are turning to hybrid plans that link LTC coverage to life insurance or an annuity. These products have always had less stringent underwriting requirements to qualify. They also have more predictable premiums (most are paid up front) and resolve the “use it or lose it” problem—i.e., clients will receive benefits one way or the other, either through an LTC claim or as a death benefit. Or both.

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