New York Times Article About Long-Term Care Insurance: Part 1
Every few years, there’s a New York Times article about long-term care insurance.
Most New York Times articles about long-term care insurance have had a negative bent. For example, in 2015 the New York Times headline bemoaned: “Long-Term Care Insurance Can Baffle with Complex Policies and Costs”.
A few years earlier, in 2010, the NYT headline was even more ominous. It warned: “When a Safety Net is Yanked Away”
The most famous New York Times article about long-term care insurance was written in 2007. Its headline read: Aged, Frail and Denied Care by Their Insurers.
The Times’ narrative was that the long-term care insurance industry was doing everything it could to avoid paying long-term care insurance claims.
The scathing 2007 article by the Times got the attention of the federal government. Congress held investigative hearings in 2008 on the issue of claims payment practices in the long-term care insurance industry. The U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging ordered that an audit be done of long-term care insurance claims practices.
The audit was conducted over a 22-month period in 2008 and 2009. The audit reviewed both approved and denied claims from seven of the leading long-term care insurers. At that time, those seven insurance companies accounted for over 70% of the long-term care insurance claims. They audited EVERY claim denied by some of the insurers.
The audit was summarized in a 20-page report. You can read it on the Department of Health & Human Services website. Here’s a link to it:
Here are a few important points made in the report:
“…there is a low incidence of disagreement between the clinical audit team and the insurance company adjudicators, particularly when it comes to denied claims.”
“…There is a greater probability of approving rather than denying a questionable claim.”
“…Regarding denial decisions, we found that in all cases, there was no evidence to suggest that the individual met the tax-qualified criteria for benefit eligibility in their policy.”
“…companies are consistently applying their clinical contract language to their claims decisions.”
NYTimes In other words, the 2007 New York Times article about long-term care insurance may have overreached. The vast majority of long-term care insurance claims were being (and continue to be) processed accurately, especially for policies that meet the federal guidelines for long-term care insurance.
This year, the New York Times did not publish one article about long-term care insurance, but two!
“A Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance: Deciding when, or whether, to buy long-term care insurance can be complex. Here’s what to know.”
In these two NYTimes articles, the writers got some things right and some things wrong. Even worse, however, is that they left out some of the most important things their readers need to know about “modern long-term care insurance”.
In the next part of this in-depth article, I will summarize for you:
- Three important things this article omitted
- What this article got right
- What this article got “half right”
- What this article got wrong (very wrong, in one case)
Be on the lookout for the next article in this series, “Three Things the NYTimes Articles Omitted…“