Another LTC Awareness month is upon us! With that, another year is almost over and the holidays are fast approaching. I’m sitting here looking at the blog I wrote for LTC awareness month last year for inspiration and it feels like a totally different world. In 2019, heading into 2020, I was so excited about all of the changes in the Linked Benefit market - we had more flexible premiums that were going to take the world by storm! 2020 was going to be a whole new world of LTC planning. Then, the rug got pulled out from under us. Covid happened. We sheltered in place, social distanced. Many of us didn’t think about long term planning, it was short term planning. Many clients had immediate needs to deal with and a world of uncertainty. But we are adjusting. We’re venturing back out safely, finding our way back to having conversations with our own friends and families, and existing clients – and exploring new ways to find new clients. Our clients are finding their footing again too, looking again at ways to secure their future goals.
But even with the huge curve that was thrown this year, the concerns that our clients had about extended healthcare in November of 2019 are still around today – if not stronger. Not having a plan in place when you or your clients need care can be the scariest and most devastating thing that can happen to a family. So what does that mean for us, during LTC Awareness Month 2020? It means reaching out to clients, encouraging them to review their plan (and as I’ve mentioned over and over again, every person has a plan to pay for care - they either pay out-of-pocket or rely on family as a default). Then, help them make changes to that plan if that doesn’t fit their goals. This does not have to be a huge project. It can be as simple as a question in your client appointment: If you needed extended healthcare for more than 90 days, what is your plan? I’d like to mark my file so that when your family asks me, I have a record of what you want. And document it. See where that conversation takes you. If you want an official looking document, I have a few you can use for your file.
If you want to be more aggressive in letting your clients know you are the person to talk to about their concerns about long term care planning, we can help you with that also. I have videos, letters, emails, postcards, Social Media, and White Papers. If I don’t have it, it can be easily made and customized for how you want to reach out to your clients. And while LTC Awareness month is during November, you can do this ANYTIME. Lincoln shared an interesting statistic on a webinar last week. January is their busiest claim intake month. They don’t know the exact reason, but they think (and I agree) that families are together over the winter holidays and as wonderful as zoom and FaceTime are, you don’t always get the full picture of what’s going on until you are together with family for a few days. Then, as the children talk, they often start to make a plan for the care giving needs of family members and may even look at the policy.
And those changes in Linked Benefits? They still happened. We have great flexible premiums, making policies more affordable. We have the ability to use Qualified funds in a unique way. Plus – does your client have “old” life insurance? Replacement is not a bad thing when we can 1035 cash value from an old policy into a new policy that gives them additional benefits.
So, whether it's Long Term Care Awareness month, or any other month, building awareness around extended care is always an important step. Let me know what Underwriters Marketing Service can do to help you reach out to your clients during LTC awareness month and beyond!