By Cyril Tuohy
In an effort to better align pricing and risk, Genworth Financial has launched Privileged Choice Flex 2, an updated version of its Privileged Choice Flex long-term care insurance product. Originally introduced in 2011, the 2013 update is the first long-term care product which will take gender into consideration in the underwriting criteria.
Other changes include the implementation of paramedical exams into the underwriting process that will require applicants to submit blood and urine samples, and an increase from two to four underwriting categories. According to the company, changes also include implementation of a gender-based pricing structure for people applying individually, and the addition of different inflation protection options for different compound inflation choices.
"Genworth is an industry leader in the development of long term care insurance products," Pat Foley, president of distribution and marketing for Genworth, said in a news release. "Our decades of experience have allowed us to design products and services to fit our customers’ needs across a range of budgets to help protect them and their loved ones."
When a qualified couple, including a same-sex couple, applies for and is issued coverage, they will receive lower rates than if they applied separately as individuals, the company said.
Much of the sales for long-term care insurance come from the individual market and just over 7 million Americans carry long-term care insurance, according to LIMRA. The National Clearing House for Long Term Care has estimated that people living beyond the age of 65 have a 70 percent chance of needing long-term care, and those costs are going to add up quickly now that an estimated 10,000 Americans turn 65 every day and will be doing so for the next 17 years, according to the Pew Research Center.
Privileged Choice Flex 2, underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Co., will progressively replace Privileged Choice Flex as it gains approval from one state to the next, the company said. The new product will be sold only to people younger than 75, and the long-term care risks will be underwritten in four categories: Preferred Best, Preferred, Select and Standard.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer living in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He has also written about food, restaurants and travel. He can be reached at [email protected].
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