Purse Strings Approved Professional
How has the feminization of health care and veterinary medicine affected the supplemental insurance plans employers are offering?
Let’s plan for a future where more women continue to enter fields previously dominated by men. Let’s expect to see benefits change.
This was a question a practice owner asked me when she was inquiring about setting up a group Long-Term Care Insurance plan for her employees. The plans the doctor was referring to are the Guaranteed Issue (GI) or Guaranteed Standard Issue (GSI) insurance plans that doctors were offered for Long-Term Care (LTC) and Disability Income insurance (DI).
What options do women have if they want to get LTC coverage, especially if they are young or work in a state that is considering a program like the WA State Long-Term Care Trust Plan? They can look at an individual LTC policy, a hybrid LTC policy, or a Life Insurance Policy or Annuity with an LTC rider. In fact, the cost of Life Insurance is less expensive for females than it is for males so a Life Insurance policy with an LTC rider can be a better route for securing a good amount of Long-Term Care at a reasonable cost. Plus, if they do not use the policy for LTC, they will use it for the death benefit or cash value. In short, unlike some of the group plans where the LTC plan is “use it or lose it,” they will get a policy that they will use no matter what.
For disability insurance, if they are offered a GSI plan, they can compare it to adding a personal plan and choose the one that works best for them now and later when they are established in their career. If they get a GSI, then reviewing it on a regular is recommended. That is because the benefits of the GSI plan might not have future purchase options or inflation protection. If the policy no longer works, they can fix it, replace it, or supplement it with another policy to fill in the gaps.
Part of having a good plan in place is also having an advisor that they can call to service the policy and make sure their information is up to date and correct so that if they should need to go on claim, the policy will do what it is meant to do. In fact, it is wise to have a regular review of all policies and accounts. It is also helpful to work with an advisor who is an expert in working with someone like them and is proactive about contacting them if there is a change, update, or new law that affects them. That is even when they purchase insurance through their employer. They, or rather their spouse, partner, or family will need to know who to call submit a claim.
I have been on these calls several times and when the client says they have their advisor on the line, the given response is, “What is his name.” That same thing happens when women call about their female spouse and the person on the other end of the line says, “What is his name.” It might not seem like a big deal, but when you are dealing with the complexities and emotions behind a claim, these comments erode the trust that their spouse is going to get the help they need.
In summary, one word of advice I would give young professional women. Let’s plan for a future where more women continue to enter fields previously dominated by men. Let’s expect to see benefits change. Gender-neutral policies are pretty much gone for Long Term Care and Disability Insurance and GI and GSI being will soon be replaced by simplified underwriting. That means that young, healthy people will have an easy application process and the rest hopefully are working with advisors who can help them navigate through these changes and get the protection they need now and in the future.
Disclosure: Guarantees are backed by the claims-paying ability of the issuing insurer.
*Registered Representative, Securities offered through Registered Representatives of Cambridge Investment Research, Inc., a broker-dealer, member FINRA/SIPC. Investment Advisor Representative, Cambridge Investment Research Advisors, Inc., a Registered Investment Adviser. Finity Group, LLC and Cambridge are not affiliated.
Peggy Haslach, CFP®,CLU
As an athlete, trainer, and coach, Peggy uses a coach’s approach with her clients. She knows how to inspire women to take control of their financial plan. he works collaboratively with her client’s other advisors (CPAs, Attorneys, Mortgage Brokers, etc.) to put together a plan where her clients can make and manage their own money, live the lifestyle they want today, and feel confident about their tomorrow.
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