Long-Term Care Insurance
and The Importance of Underwriting
Underwriting determines the type of coverage an individual is eligible for: Preferred, Standard, Standard II or declined. Long-term care actuaries determine the qualifications for each level of coverage and distinguish how much risk to associate with each tier of coverage.
When considering Long-term care insurance, it is important to take a good look at your current health status as well as your family history. It is important to be honest regarding your health conditions in order for the Long-Term Care specialist to place you with a carrier that is most likely to accept your application based on your health status. Some carriers accept certain diseases or health history that others do not.
However, some diseases are completely uninsurable, such as Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, or Muscular Sclerosis. So, if there is a family history of these diseases, it’s better to purchase a policy well ahead of time before you may be diagnosed and therefore, uninsurable. The healthier and younger you are, the less extensive the underwriting process will be and the less expensive the policy will be.
Here are the important questions you will be sharing with your Long-Term Care Specialist: (Remember, even the slightest discrepancy can make all the difference in choosing the right carrier for you.)
• Marital or partner status
• Accurate height and weight
• History or current activity of smoking, drink or illegal drug use.
• Medical diagnoses with dates.
• List of recent medications
• Hospitalizations over the past 10 years including dates
Once a carrier has been chosen and an application is submitted to the carrier, the underwriting process can take up to 60 days. Here are four parts of the underwriting process:
1. Underwriting is very thorough and can take up to four to six weeks or more.
2. Updated medical exams may be requested.
3. Underwriters must order all doctor records
4. Cognitive assessment is required either by telephone interview or face to face interview.
The cognitive assessment is critical to the application process, it important to take this seriously and to be well rested, focused and prepared to answer many questions regarding memory, current events, and math aptitude. Depending on the health history, younger clients usually take the assessment over the telephone, while clients over 65 usually take the assessment during a face to face home interview.
Going through the underwriting process can be made less stressful as long as you do what you’re supposed to do. It is important to give current and truthful information about your health history. It is important to understand what is in your own personal medical record. Information provided in your medical records has an important impact on the underwriting decision.
Having a Long-Term Care Specialist on your side to help with the underwriting process increases the chances of having the long-term care insurance policy application approved.
Long-Term Care Financing and Planning is What we Do!