One of my favorite 25 year mysteries remains American consumers’ ability to so effectively ignore the facts. It reminds me of my three year old grandson who has a standard and highly effective response when confronted with his misdeeds, inconsistencies in his reporting of his brother’s transgressions or his own—a final and heartfelt denial of his participation in the reality of an obvious transgression. He places his arms straight down at his sides, balls up his fists, and proclaims loudly, “I not!

There is no denying the pot is on the boil. The facts could not be more clear:

  • In 2020 73 million Americans were over 65.
  • Chronic diseases on the rise, for example six million over 65 have dementia.
  • The senior care/long term care market, including all major industry vendors, is estimated at $517 billion in 2023 with a growth rate or CAGR of 6.05 percent expected to grow the market size to $780.2 billion by 2030.

This financial time bomb is ticking so loudly, why does it not cause more hearing loss? And even for those whose personal experience has forced them to stare directly into the sun, we now have second generation “election deniers” who simply cannot face facts.

Even for those unwilling to accept a verified election result long gone over the falls, we seem to have way too many unable to acknowledge basic truths. According to recent LIMRA consumer analysis 29 percent still believe they magically have existing coverage hidden in their other insurance possessions. When the truth is only 3.1 percent own any form of long term care protection. Consumers are looking but not taking action. Exceptional research conducted by OneAmerica suggests that approximately one out of three actually researched their insurance options but only 16 percent followed through with a concrete plan of action. Even the facts you think consumers got right are off kilter. There is even a residual consumer notion that Medicaid pays. Which is of course absolutely right if you have given away, hidden or loopholed all your money and you wish to end your journey in a semi-private room with hard linoleum floors and a possible screamer in the bed next to you. The only unknown variable in your care experience at that point will be, “Is it Jello or peaches tonight?” The recent LIMRA survey suggests that 60 percent of respondents acknowledge they need LTCI with a particularly high interest among millennials.

We now seem to live in a world of extreme speculation:

  • Will substantial fixed interest rates finally resurrect the combo annuity market?
  • What, if anything, could attract new younger buyers?
  • Can technology and AI increase the value of managed care at home?
  • Which end of the beast does the insurance industry try to hold onto: 1) a partnership with pending mandatory employer/employee tax plans; or, 2) Expand basic managed care under Medicare Part C; or, 3) Finally streamline underwriting and rejuvenate a vibrant and aggressive payroll market; or, 4) simply place a care robot in every home.

My grandson will slowly but surely become wiser, diplomatic and knowledgeable in his conflict resolution skills. I wish with all my heart the same may be said of us.

Other than that I have no opinion on the subject.

Ronald R. Hagelman, CLTC, CSA, LTCP, has been a teacher, cattle rancher, agent, brokerage general agent, corporate consultant and home office executive. As a consultant he has created numerous individual and group insurance products.

A nationally recognized motivational speaker, Hagelman has served on the LIMRA, Society of Actuaries, and ILTCI committees. He is past president of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance and continues to work with LTCI company advisory boards. He remains a contributing “friend” of the SOA LTCI Section Council and the SOA Future of LTCI committee. Hagelman and his partner Barry J. Fisher are principles of Ice Floe Consulting, providing consulting services for Chronic Illness/LTC product development and brokerage distribution strategies.

Hagelman can be reached at Ice Floe Consulting, 156 N. Solms Rd., New Braunfels, TX 78132 Telephone: 830-620-4066. Email: ron@icefloeconsulting.com.