Recently one of my associates asked me about a client of his who had been declined for long term care insurance. She’d applied for coverage with a company that her financial advisor had recommended for her and she was declined because of “sticky platelet syndrome” (SPS). ”Sticky platelet syndrome” is a blood disorder that is usually treated with blood thinners like plavix or coumadin or aspirin.
After discussions with several underwriters with some of the top long term care insurers, I recommended to my associate that she apply for long term care insurance with two of the leading long term care insurers. Fortunately, both of them approved her.
One of them approved her with “substandard” rates (which are about 25% higher than their standard rates.) That insurer also decreased the amount of benefits she had applied for. She wanted a very long Benefit Period, but they approved her for a little more than half of what she had applied for.
On the other hand, the other insurer approved her with all of the benefits she had requested. Also, since she had no other health issues and she met the “preferred criteria” for the second insurer, they approved her with the “preferred health discount”.
What are the lessons to learn here?
1) Just because you’ve been declined by one long term care insurer, does NOT mean that you’ll be declined by all.
2) Each of the top ten long term care insurers has a unique way of looking at your health history. Whichever insurance agent you work with, make sure that he or she knows the unique “underwriting nuances” that each company has.
3) Just because one long term care insurer approves you with a “substandard” rate, does not mean that they all would. Each long term care insurer has a unique way of determining who can qualify for the ‘preferred’, ‘standard’, or ‘substandard’ rates.