GE to End $2.5B Long-Term Care Insurance Reinsurance Arrangement

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/10/26/ge-to-end-2-5b-long-term-care-insurance-reinsurance-arrangement

Excerpt:

General Electric has agreed to end a long-term care insurance reinsurance relationship backed by $2.5 billion in assets.

The Boston-based company said Tuesday that it hopes to get the assets back by the end of the year.

….

For GE, the end of the reinsurance arrangement means that the company will face less worry about whether it can collect on reinsurance claims.

“This reduces counterparty risk,” Happe said.

GE will also have $2.5 billion in extra cash to reinvest.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 26 Oct 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

5 Worst States for Working-Age Deaths in August

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/09/27/5-worst-states-for-working-age-deaths-in-august/

Graphic:

Excerpt:

The number of deaths of working-age Americans was lower in August than in August 2021, but it was still much higher than it was in August 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

Death figures for the period from July 31 through Aug. 27 are just starting to firm up. But very early figures show that at least 53,655 U.S. residents ages 25 through 64 died from COVID-19 and all other causes during that four-week period.

The number of deaths was down sharply from 77,847 in August 2021, but it was still up 6.1% from the total of 50,590 for August 2019.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 27 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Life Groups Calls on States to Review Agent Exam Difficulty

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/09/22/life-groups-calls-on-states-to-review-agent-exam-difficulty/

Excerpt:

The American Council of Life Insurers has joined with two rival producer groups, the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors and Finseca, to send state lawmakers, insurance commissioners and other policymakers a new 10-page position paper, “A Workplan to Identify & Remove Unnecessary Barriers to Producer Licensure.”

The groups contend that better licensing rules would expand the supply of agents, brokers and other insurance producers, as well as increase producer diversity.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 22 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

John Hancock to Pilot 50-Cancer Detection Test

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/09/20/john-hancock-to-pilot-50-cancer-detection-test/

Excerpt:

John Hancock wants to find out what happens when life insurance insureds get a blood test that might reveal early signs of about 50 different types of cancer.

The Boston-based Manulife subsidiary is working with Munich Re and other reinsurers to offer a pilot program that will pay either 50% or 100% of the cost of Grail’s Galleri cancer screening test for insureds in the John Hancock Vitality wellness program.

John Hancock will not get individual test results for the insureds who use the pilot program, nor will the program results affect the participants’ coverage, premiums or Vitality points.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 20 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Senate Finance Chair Broadens Inquiry Into Private Placement Life Insurance

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/09/21/senate-finance-chair-broadens-inquiry-into-private-placement-life-insurance/

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Excerpt:

A lawmaker who helps shape federal tax legislation has indicated that he wants to keep wealthy families from using private placement life insurance to replace any federal tax loopholes that Congress closes.

Sen. Ron Wyden, D-Ore., the chair of the Senate Finance Committee, today announced that he has written to Prudential Financial, Zurich Insurance Group and the American Council of Life Insurers to get more information about the PPLI market, and the possibility that many PPLI policies may serve only to reduce the income taxes of families that rank in the wealthiest 1% of American families, not to provide genuine insurance.

“Is investment in PPLI products marketed to new or existing clients as a means to minimize or eliminate ordinary income, capital gains or estate taxes?” Wyden asks in the letters to Prudential and Zurich. “If so, please explain the legal basis for why these products help minimize or eliminate taxes.”

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 21 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

5 Worst States for Working-Age Death Increases in July

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/09/12/5-worst-states-for-working-age-death-increases-in-july/

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Excerpt:

Early government mortality numbers show that the number of U.S. deaths has stayed very high this summer, both for members of the general population and for working-age people.

For all U.S. residents, for the period from July 3 through Aug. 27, the number of deaths recorded in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s FluView reports was 426,881, according to the report released Friday, which included data sent to the CDC by Sept. 3.

The “all cause” total for the general population was down just 0.8% from the total for the comparable period in 2021, and it was 22% higher than the total for the comparable period in 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic began.

For U.S. residents ages 25 through 64, the all-cause death total during that same period was 113,665, according to early, weighted data in the CDC’s Weekly Counts of Deaths by Jurisdiction and Age reports, as of Sept. 8.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 12 Sept 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

USAA Customers Have a Strong Grip on Their Life Policies: Researchers

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/07/13/usaa-customers-have-a-strong-grip-on-their-life-policies-researchers/

Excerpt:

USAA — a policyholder-owned insurer that has historically focused on serving military veterans and their relatives — may be the big U.S. life insurer with the lowest policy lapse rate.

A team of researchers led by Ralph S.J. Koijen has presented data supporting that conclusion in a new analysis of how economic slumps affect which insureds drop their life insurance.

To conduct that analysis, the Koijen team crunched data from the public financial reports of the 30 biggest U.S. life insurer groups, for a period from 1996 through 2020.

….

Overall, a severe crisis, such as the 2007-2009 Great Recession, might increase a company’s life policy lapse rate by about 1 percentage point or more, after holding other factors considered equal, the researchers concluded.

The researchers found that, after holding factors such as risk class, smoking use and type of coverage equal, being under age 35 increased the risk of letting a life policy lapse by 46%, and being ages 25 through 34 during an economic slump increase lapse risk by an additional 15%.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 13 July 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

5 Ways the New Stock Market Rollercoaster Could Affect Life Insurers

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/06/16/5-ways-the-new-stock-market-rollercoaster-could-affect-life-insurers/

Excerpt:

1. Clients could swarm on life and annuity products with benefits guarantees like ants on a candy bar that fell under the picnic table.

Sales of products such as non-variable indexed annuities and non-variable indexed universal life insurance policies soar, as clients flocks to arrangements that can protect them against further drops in stock prices but help them share in gains if and when prices go back up.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 16 June 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

South Carolina Withdraws From Interstate Insurance Compact

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/06/13/south-carolina-withdraws-from-interstate-insurance-compact/

Excerpt:

South Carolina — one of the leaders in the effort to create the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Compact — has withdrawn from the compact because of a conflict over long-term care insurance rate increase application reviews.

Members of the Interstate Insurance Product Regulation Commission, the body that oversees the compact, voted in December 2021 to keep a rule that lets the compact review and approve requests for LTCI rate increases under 15%.

The rule conflicts with a new South Carolina law that requires the director of the South Carolina Department of Insurance or a director designee to review and rule on all LTCI rate filings.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 13 June 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Top 10 Medicare Bills Introduced in 2022

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/04/28/top-10-medicare-bills-introduced-in-2022/

Excerpt:

Here’s a look at the top-performing Medicare bills introduced since Jan. 1.

We searched Congress.gov for new Medicare bills, then ranked the bills based on co-sponsorship bipartisanship and numbers.

Some of these bills could pass on their own. Others could surface as provisions in much larger bills, such as a Ukraine aid bill or a COVID-19 pandemic response funding bill.

What It Means

These measures seem to have the legislative mojo to go places.

Each sponsor has managed to overcome the current hostility between Republicans and Democrats and persuade at least one member of the opposite party to sign on as a co-sponsor.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 28 April 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

Life Application Activity Cools Again

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/10/life-application-activity-cools-again/

Excerpt:

Policygenius, a life insurance web broker, uses its term life pricing information to provide monthly term life price index reports.

The company bases the index on prices for coverage with a 20-year-level premium term.

The lowest price shown is for coverage for a 25-year-old female nonsmoker who wants $250,000 in death benefits; The highest price is for a 55-year-old male smoker who wants $1 million in death benefits.

Policygenius figures suggest rising premiums may not be causing life application friction.

This month, the lowest price in the tables fell slightly, to $14.21, from $14.25 last month.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 10 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor

COVID-19 Deaths Cause More Than $700M in Q1 Claims

Link: https://www.thinkadvisor.com/2022/05/09/covid-19-deaths-continue-to-hit-life-insurers-hard/

Excerpt:

COVID-19 returned to killing older Americans at a much higher rate than younger Americans in the first quarter, and that helped to hold down life insurers’ death claims.

The pandemic killed about 155,000 U.S. residents in the latest quarter. That was up from 127,000 in the fourth quarter of 2021, but down from 191,000 in the first quarter of 2021, according to statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other public and private sources.

Some life insurers and reinsurers that posted earnings last week skipped COVID-19 mortality details.

…..

MetLife: $230 million in world group life claims this quarter, down from $280 million a year earlier.

Hartford Financial: $96 million before taxes this quarter, down from $185 million a year earlier.

Unum: 1,400 deaths at an average of $55,000, or $77 million, down from 1,725 deaths at an average of $65,000, or $112 million, a year earlier.

Lincoln Financial: $53 million in group life claim claims and $18 million in group disability claims this quarter, down from $83 million in group life claims and $7 million in group disability claims a year earlier.

Voya: $35 million in group life claims this quarter, up from $29 million a year earlier.

Author(s): Allison Bell

Publication Date: 9 May 2022

Publication Site: Think Advisor