NYT investigation rips long-term care insurance practices

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If providers and regulators were hoping long-term care insurance would quietly grow in popularity and therefore help better fund operations in the future, well, they have another thing coming. A scathing front-page article Monday in the New York Times examined the industry, casting serious doubt on some of its practices.

The article highlighted an elderly Montana woman who dutifully paid premiums and then was denied coverage under apparently dubious conditions by a prolific long-term care insurance seller, Conseco Senior Health. The lengthy feature examined confidential testimony and statements from current and former insurance sellers, as well as numerous aggrieved policyholders. "Thousands" of policy holders have been given nothing but a fruitless runaround, the article reported.

The article also noted that "tens of thousands" of Americans have received "life-prolonging care" as a result of their LTC insurance policies. There are 8 million long-term care insurance customers currently, and the number is growing quickly, thanks to recently passed legislation, it added.

The full article can be found at http://www.nytimes.com/2007/03/26/business/26care.html.