IRS Doesn’t Up LTC Limits

Long time Cal Broker contributor Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), sent us an email late Friday with some big news in the LTC world. Slome wrote:

For the first time since I’ve been reporting tax deductible limits for LTC insurance the IRS has NOT increased the level. They just updated an earlier Revenue Procedure to include the 2022 LTC tax deductibility levels … might have gone unnoticed (except I’ve been waiting to see them … expecting another increase to report).

According to IRS Revenue Procedure 2021-45, a couple age 70 or older who both have the right kind of long-term care insurance policy can deduct as much as $11,280 in 2022. This is the same as the maximum for 2021 and an increase from the $10,860 limit for 2020. The 2019 limit was $10,540.

AWARDS

Know Someone Who Could Be Broker of the Year?

BenefitsPRO magazine is now accepting nominations for their 2022 Broker of the Year award. Are you someone who helps shape the industry and provides extraordinary client service? Or do you know a colleague who stands out from the crowd? Those are some of the qualities they are looking for! Nominate yourself or a colleague today.

BenefitsPro will introduce Broker of the Year finalists in the June issue of the magazine and the winner will be featured on the cover of the July/August issue — as well as online at BenefitsPRO.com. The winner will also be honored with an award at BenefitsPRO Broker Expo 2022 in Austin, Texas.

The deadline to submit your nomination is February 4, 2022! Questions? Contact Paul Wilson, Editor-in-Chief, BenefitsPRO at pwilson@benefitspro.com.

BENEFITS

UnitedHealth Survey Identifies Consumer Trends

With health benefits enrollment season underway in California, people across the state and nation are now making benefit decisions for 2022. To help make sense of the latest consumer trends and preferences related to health benefits, here are some key findings from the sixth-annual UnitedHealthcare Consumer Sentiment Survey:

  • A survey-record 82% of insured Americans said they are prepared to select a health plan during open enrollment, with baby boomers (86%) and Gen Xers (85%) the most confident; compared to millennials (79%) and Gen Z (71%).
  • 44% of respondents said COVID-19 influenced, or will influence, their preferred health plan, with 16% interested in an option with lower out-of-pocket costs; 13% looking for more well-being programs or resources; 8% seeking more comprehensive or richer benefits; and 8% wanting a national health plan instead of a regional one.
  • 53% of Americans said they are interested in using digital devices, such as smartphones or laptops, to access care, reflecting the surging interest in telehealth amid the persistent spread of COVID-19.
  • Since the emergence of COVID-19, 40% of survey respondents said their exercise habits have changed, including 24% who say they exercise less now and 16% indicating they work out more.
  • 30% of respondents said they use a digital fitness app as part of their exercise routine, half of whom added this resource for the first time after the emergence of COVID-19. Among people who previously exercised at public gyms, 12% said they have no intention of ever returning.

INSURTECH

New Survey Highlights Broker Pain Points

According to the inaugural Workplace Benefits Broker Survey, conducted by Wellfleet and EIS, brokers’ top six carrier pain points are all IT-related. They include commission structure (52%), billing errors (48%), lack of real-time data insights for the broker and client (44%), time to underwrite the group (43%), and limited plan customization and slow data processing time (42%), respectively. The survey, conducted to gauge broker sentiment on partner technologies, also examined factors that impact broker satisfaction and their ability to be successful partners with carriers in the current workplace benefits market. The top three factors that influence brokers’ carrier recommendation are technology (59%), financial rating (57%) and the claims submission process (36%). Check out more about the survey here.

SELF-INSURANCE

Self-Insurance Directory Now Available

The Self-Insurers’ Publishing Corp. (SIPC), in partnership with the Self-Insurance Institute of America, Inc. (SIIA), recently released The Self-Insurance Directory 2022.

The Self-Insurance Directory has been a valuable industry resource for the past 35 years. SIPC provides our long term SIIA and self-insurance industry supporters this resource to connect self-funded employers and industry service providers. View and download the directory here.

ANNUITIES

New Software Makes Annuity Shopping Easier

Annuities Genius, a developer of annuity point-of-sale software that helps financial pros find suitable products and meet compliance requirements, announced a partnership with CANNEX to use its data for their new SPIA and DIA comparison tools.

With the addition of SPIA and DIA data, financial professionals can use Annuities Genius to review with clients the full range of annuity options from major carriers, compare product benefits, pricing and performance illustrations, and select the appropriate annuities.

Secure Retirement Institute: Advisors Say Annuities Suitable for Retirees and Pre-Retirees in Middle- and Mass-Affluent Markets

While annuities have features uniquely suited to retirement, they are not necessarily appropriate for all retiree and pre-retiree investors. New research from LIMRA’s Secure Retirement Institute sked advisors which market segment was the best suited for annuities, among their typical retiree and pre-retiree clients. The research also looked at whether advisors have seen any changes in clients’ views about annuities.

Most advisors consider wealthier clients (with $1 million or more in household investable assets) to be a less appropriate segment for annuities than clients with lower wealth levels. Among advisors servicing middle- and mass-affluent market segment (under $500,000 in assets) retiree and pre-retiree clients, nearly half (48%) feel that annuities are most appropriate for these clients.

Other SRI research shows households with less than $500,000 in investable assets made up 60% of annuity owners; households with $500,000 to $999,999 in investable assets and households with $1 million or more each represented 20% of owners.

HOLIDAY

LAAHU sent us a note saying their annual holiday party will be Dec. 9, 5pm, at Ceremony Bar in Studio City. More info here. Don’t forget to check with your AHU chapter for other holiday events!

And while we’re on the subject of AHU events, don’t forget that LAAHU is also sponsoring the Toluca Lake Turkey Trot on Sunday, November 21, 2021, 1:30- 4 pm. Chase Bank Parking Lot, 10050 Riverside Drive, Toluca Lake. Register in advance here.

EVENTS

  • SIIA Crowdsource Forum, in person, December 6 – 8, Charleston, SC, Info here.
  • Future of Health, online, Dec 8-9, Save $150 with code CALBROKER. Register here.
  • CAHU Women’s Leadership Summit, in person, March 14-16, 2022, Green Valley Ranch, Las Vegas, Info and registration here.
  • LAAHU Annual Symposium, in person, April 26, Pasadena Convention Center. Info here.
  • BenefitsPro Broker Expo, in person, May 23-25, 2022, Austin, TX. Request more info here. Register here.