Ground-breaking Product Makes Long Term Care Insurance More Affordable and Easier to Buy
Product Designed with Baby Boomers’ Needs in Mind
Boston – John Hancock Life Insurance Company’s ground-breaking Leading Edge long term care insurance (LTCI) product has been approved for sale in 42 states, including Florida and Georgia, the company said today.
The product, introduced at the end of 2006, is now available in the states listed in the chart below. Leading Edge, the industry’s first LTCI policy specifically designed to meet the needs and budgets of Baby Boomers, significantly reduces the expense and complexity of buying LTCI.
“John Hancock’s Leading Edge long term care insurance product is now available to consumers across the United States to help them meet the financial promises they have made to themselves and their loved ones,” said Laura Moore, president, John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance. “As Baby Boomers age, they are realizing that long term care is a key part of their retirement planning process and securing their financial future. Leading Edge provides them with expanded coverage, reduced costs and a simplified buying process. It enables them to secure long term care insurance protection more easily and cost effectively than ever before.”
Two Key New Features
With Leading Edge, Hancock simplified and reduced the cost of inflation coverage, providing compound inflation protection linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Each year, the policy owner’s benefit and total pool of money increase in conjunction with the CPI.
Moore continued, “The CPI is a common measure of economic growth in the United States, where you see pensions and social security payments linked to the CPI. With respect to long term care, two of the primary components of the CPI, labor and real estate, are the key drivers of increasing costs, so the use of CPI makes much more sense than a flat percentage, which has been the industry norm until now.”
When the CPI increases, as it has done for more that 50 years straight, the insured’s benefits increase accordingly. And there is no maximum, so during times of very high inflation as seen in the 1970s, the policy benefits increase by the same amount, making it more likely that a policy linked to CPI will keep pace with the cost of care. Even if the CPI goes below zero (which hasn’t happened since 1955), the benefit amount does not decrease, rather it remains fixed at its current level until the CPI rises again.
Another key feature of Leading Edge is the 5 Years plus $1 Million Dollars benefit period. This new, less expensive option provides an alternative to lifetime coverage and is designed for consumers who anticipate needing long term care for a long time. If the pool of money from a policyholder’s 5-year benefit period runs out, an additional $1 million is added to the pool, allaying concerns about outliving financial resources.
“Both of these innovative benefits are a result of our many years of experience in the LTC insurance industry, and putting the needs of our customers first,” Ms. Moore said. “In addition, our proven history in this industry along with our company’s financial strength should provide a high level of comfort to Baby Boomers or any individuals seeking long term care insurance protection, and to producers who are offering our product to their clients.”
Ms. Moore noted several other key new features offered through Leading Edge:
Caregiver Support Services
This feature is geared specifically to Baby Boomers who may face the possibility of being called upon to provide care for parents and/or other older relatives before they need care themselves.
With Caregiver Support Services, individuals have personalized telephone and website assistance regarding caregiving questions or concerns, access to quality reports and ratings on more than 90,000 nursing home and assisted living facilities nationwide, and exclusive provider discounts and care advisory services for family members. This benefit can help the policyholders and their family members save between 7 and 35 percent on the cost of long term care provider services.
Total Homemaker and Stay At Home Services
Leading Edge offers options that help consumers stay at home for as long as possible. First, it expands traditional home health care coverage to include household duties, such as laundry, meal preparation, paying bills, and having someone to watch over the policyholder to ensure medications are taken correctly.
Second, it also covers home modifications, durable medical equipment, caregiver training, home safety checks and medical alert systems.
There are a number of other popular options offered with Leading Edge, such as:
“Long term care insurance plays a critical role in the retirement planning process, but we know that consumers are overwhelmed with other priorities and sometimes put off planning for long term care,” Ms. Moore said. “We hope and expect that Leading Edge’s simple structure, affordable price and expanded home care coverage make it easier for consumers to incorporate LTC insurance into their plans. In fact, it seems to be making an impact already, as several of our top producers report that when they give their clients a choice between Leading Edge and another policy, they always choose Leading Edge.”
States where John Hancock’s Leading Edge LTCI product has been approved for sale:
|Delaware||District of Columbia||Florida||Georgia|
|New Jersey||New Mexico||New York||North Dakota|
|South Carolina||South Dakota||Tennessee||Utah|
For more consumer information on the need for long term care and basics of LTCI coverage, John Hancock maintains a consumer website at: www.johnhancocklongtermcare.com.
About John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance
Today, John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, is one of the largest providers of LTC insurance overall with more than 969,000 clients and $1.1 billion of in-force premium.
Having entered the retail LTC insurance market in 1987, John Hancock is the second-largest provider of individual coverage in the country. John Hancock began selling group LTC insurance in 1988 and today is the largest provider of employer-sponsored LTC insurance in the U.S.
In 2002, John Hancock and MetLife together were selected to administer an LTC insurance program for federal employees, retirees and various family members across the country. The program is the largest single employer-sponsored LTC insurance program of its kind.
About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Manulife Financial Corporation, a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and Asia, and primarily through John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$414 billion (US$355 billion) as at December 31, 2006.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long-term care insurance, college savings and other forms of business insurance.
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Benefit selection may vary by state. Long Term Care Insurance is underwritten by John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117
Melissa Simon Berczuk