Avaritia facit Bardus - Greed makes you stupid.
An Article by Mr. LTC
Before I deal with the long-term care insurance industry, let me share my personal experience with long-term care insurance itself:
It has saved my life.
Without the benefits of my existing long-term care policy, I'm convinced that I would have given up in my struggle with advanced Parkinson's Disease some time ago and simply called it a day. There is no way for me to accurately convey the importance of the decision I made some ten years ago to purchase the policy, unless the person reading this has experienced protracted ADL failure for themselves.
And it is precisely because of my tremendous appreciation for this product that I am furious at an industry that to this day has chosen to remain insular and guarded - each company an island unto itself - refusing under any circumstances to circle the wagons for the greater good. There is a word for this type of behavior: greed.
And where is that industry today, the one that "exploded" on the scene in the early '90s with so much promise? Nowhere.
Market penetration for long-term care insurance per capita has remained largely the same for the last 15 years - and although contractual benefits have been liberalized with almost 50 years of accumulated actuarial data - attained age premiums at age 75 are still only affordable by a very small percentage of the American population.
And what does all this gobbledy-gook mean in plain language? Simply that the industry has failed in its mission to help a substantial number of Americans face their chronic care needs with more dignity and equanimity.
Greed is a fast-talking, Medicaid Trust attorney who seized an opportunity while the industry slept, and greed are those who followed him.
Greed are the general agents with 25,000 square-foot houses, but no time to discuss elder care advocacy programs to benefit their industry.
Greed is going without a national spokesperson for long-term care because a company's Chief Operating Officer can't measure the Return On Investment of that commitment in the 1st Fiscal Quarter.
Greed is the fact the industry has not offered a comprehensive "no-load" product for fee-only financial planners and the Internet.
And who suffers the most from this pervasive greed? Health care consumers, honest agents trying to do their best, and our entire American public.
But, hey, why sweat the small stuff, right? After all, this is just an editorial from Yours Truly.
And yet... now that Mr. Gore is showing signs of a pulse again, the smell of Enron blossoms are in the air, and 2004 isn't that far away, there's always the possibility of a Democratic Congress and Executive Branch.
And if you think I'm tough on the industry, wait until Waxman, et al. get finished tightening your strings.