Healthcare a concern for investors: poll
(February 15, 2006) The future of Canada’s healthcare system is a source of concern for many when planning their retirement, according to a survey from TD Waterhouse, and that level of concern is rising.

In a client poll, the brokerage found 61% of respondents expressed concern about rising healthcare costs, compared to 54% last year. The potential for privatization of services was cause for concern among 56%, compared to 50% last year.

“The continuing debate in Canada over health care funding, privatization and two-tiered medicine is clearly having an impact on investor expectations and concerns,” says Patricia Lovett-Reid, senior vice president, TD Waterhouse Canada. “This is a rational response to Canada’s aging population and growing concerns over how we will meet health care costs.”

New US study reveals how long long-term care really lasts
Long-term care insurance that provides a benefit for a limited period, such as for three years, is considerably less expensive to purchase than unlimited (lifetime) benefits. According to a study of long-term care claims released by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, that limited protection may be all that most people need.

The study examined both open claims and closed claims and found that only 14.4% of closed claims lasted longer than 24 months, with 33.2% of open claims lasting longer than 24 months. Only 5.6% of closed claims lasted longer than 36 months (16.2% for open claims).

The study results would seem to suggest that less expensive limited coverage may be adequate for the majority of individuals…and is certainly better than no coverage at all!

Copies of the study can be purchased for $20. Mail payment to AALTCI – Claims Study 3835 E. Thousand Oaks Blvd., Suite 336, Westlake Village, CA 91362.

Conning Research: Long Term Care Insurance – Rising Opportunities, but Still in Search of Sustained Profitability
HARTFORD, Conn., Feb. 6 /PRNewswire/ — The Long Term Care Insurance industry is maturing but still searching for sustained profitability as it works to market a complicated product offering, according to a new study by Conning Research and Consulting, Inc.

“Long Term Care Insurance has begun to break out of its limited distribution network, and is increasingly being understood to be part of a financial planning and lifestyle planning program, which may well be the path to sustained profitability,” said Stephan Christiansen, director of research at Conning Research & Consulting. “Yet the Long Term Care Insurance industry is sorting through a number of issues, including product and actuarial complexity, high producer compensation, and evolving consumer perceptions.”

The Conning Research study, “Long-Term Care Insurance: Opportunity Knocking — Again?” outlines recent industry performance and presents the emerging issues that must be addressed before long term care insurance can take its place as a financially sound and consistently profitable product.

“Long Term Care Insurance is now a $6.7 billion industry with a five-year compound annual growth rate of 17% through 2004,” said Jim Smith, analyst at Conning Research & Consulting. “However, almost half of that growth has been fueled by rate increases, and new sales have begun to decline steadily. The industry continues to seek the right combinations of product innovation and distribution to respond to the demographic opportunity.”

“Long-Term Care Insurance: Opportunity Knocking — Again?” is available for purchase from Conning Research & Consulting, Inc., by calling (888) 707-1177 or by visiting the company’s web site at