When it comes to your clients inquiring about long term care coverage it is important to understand that their health plays a huge roll in whether or not they will qualify. Some products are more generous in their underwriting than others, but it is helpful to figure out which product fits your clients’ needs the best. We can help you shop the products to make sure the best option is chosen for your clients.
Pre-qualifying can help save you a lot of time and avoid disappointment if a case ends up being declined. Keep in mind that pre-qualifying cannot guarantee that a case won’t be declined, but the odds are better if we can ask an underwriter first. Sometimes clients ‘look’ healthy but have a lot of medical problems going on underneath the surface. Things such as heart disease, diabetes or history of cancer, for example, may not be visible to the eye. Most people have some type of health issue, especially in their older years. However, the good news is, even people with pre-existing health conditions can still qualify for long term care.
Some conditions to remember that will not be insurable with any carrier include:
- Use of multi-pronged cane, crutches, oxygen, walker or wheelchair
- Requiring assistance with activities of daily living: bathing, dressing, feeding, transferring, toileting, or urinary or bowel continence
- Use or need of home health care, adult day care, assisted living or nursing home care
- Cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer’s
There are other health conditions that will be an automatic decline, but each carrier differs. The more health information we have on a person the better chance we have of finding out a true answer on whether they will be covered at all or possibly table rated. Some carriers only use a “pass” or “fail” approach to their underwriting while others may look further into the health to decide if a table rating could be offered (which results in higher premiums). Still, some coverage is better than none at all or as Alecia says “a sharp stick in the eye.”
We have a pre-qualifying health questionnaire that we can send you to fill out with your clients when they come in the office. You could also ask them to fill out the questionnaire prior to the appointment so you can already have quotes ready for them when they come in. Things we need to know upfront are: name, date of birth or age and the benefits or premium they want / are willing to spend. From there it is also helpful to know height/weight, tobacco use, list of medications, any recent hospitalizations or surgeries, whether they are currently receiving disability and if they’ve had a physical in the last 18 months.
When your client applies for coverage, the underwriters are going to find out about their health no matter what. It is better to find out if they are declined or table rated upfront instead of finding out later and disappointing the client with higher premiums or no coverage at all.
Reach out to your sales consultant to obtain a health history questionnaire or send over as much health information as possible when asking for a quote. We’ll do the heavy lifting and shop the carriers based on the information that is provided.