New Option Offers Ability to Increase Policy Benefit Amount without Underwriting
Boston– John Hancock Life Insurance Company has introduced a new guaranteed increase option (GIO) to its Leading Edge long term care insurance policy. This innovative option provides clients who have automatic inflation coverage the opportunity every three years to increase their current policy benefit amount by 10 percent without underwriting. The option remains available, regardless of how many times a client declines the offer.
“Leading Edge was designed to fit in with the lives of younger, Baby Boomer buyers,” said Laura Moore, senior vice president, John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance. “The new GIO option is valuable to them because, later in their lives when they no longer are worrying about the mortgage, college for their kids and helping to care for their parents, they can increase their coverage for any reason,” said Moore. “We see this being particularly helpful if policyholders decide to retire to an area where the cost of care is higher than originally anticipated.”
The GIO option will be available to existing as well as future Leading Edge policyholders. There is no cost to the benefit unless an increase is elected. If the benefit amount is increased, the policyholder’s premium for the increase will be based on current age, original risk category and premium rates in effect on the option date. “While our clients may never choose to exercise the option, they and their advisors can rest assured knowing they will have it available to them every three years,” said Moore.
Leading Edge was created with Baby Boomers, who often have competing financial priorities and limited budgets, in mind. Traditionally, inflation protection and longer benefit periods such as “lifetime” coverage were two of the biggest contributors toward higher costs. In Leading Edge, Hancock has simplified and reduced the cost of inflation coverage – with built-in, compound inflation protection linked to the Consumer Price Index (CPI). Every year on the policy anniversary, a policy owner’s benefit and total pool of money is automatically adjusted according to the CPI, which has a strong association with housing and labor costs, two of the key drivers of long term care costs today and in the future.
As an alternative to lifetime coverage, John Hancock developed a new benefit period for Leading Edge: 5 Years Plus $1 Million Dollars. This new, less expensive option is designed for consumers who feel they might need long term care for a long time. If the pool of money from a policyholder’s 5-year benefit period runs out, an additional $1 million is added to the pool, allaying concerns about outliving financial resources.
One Leading Edge feature geared specifically to Baby Boomers is Caregiver Support Services. Because younger buyers will likely be called upon to provide care for parents and other older relatives before they need care themselves, this benefit provides valuable support during what can be a very stressful time. Benefits include personalized telephone and website assistance regarding caregiving questions or concerns, access to quality reports and ratings on more than 90,000 nursing home and assisted living facilities nationwide, and exclusive provider discounts and care advisory services for family members that can help them to save between 7 and 35 percent on the cost of long term care provider services.
For more consumer information on the need for long term care and basics of LTC insurance coverage, John Hancock maintains a consumer website at: www.johnhancocklongtermcare.com.
Please note benefits and premium rates may vary by state.
About John Hancock Long Term Care Insurance
Today, John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation, is one of the largest providers of LTC insurance overall with more than 1,000,000 LTCI clients and $1.4 billion of in-force LTCI premium and more than $1 billion in LTC claims paid.
Having entered the retail LTC insurance market in 1987, John Hancock is one of the largest carriers of individual coverage in the country. John Hancock began selling group LTC insurance in 1988 and today is the largest provider of employer-sponsored LTC insurance in the U.S.
About John Hancock and Manulife Financial
John Hancock is a unit of Manulife Financial Corporation (the Company), a leading Canadian-based financial services group serving millions of customers in 19 countries and territories worldwide. Operating as Manulife Financial in Canada and in most of Asia, and primarily as John Hancock in the United States, the Company offers clients a diverse range of financial protection products and wealth management services through its extensive network of employees, agents and distribution partners. Funds under management by Manulife Financial and its subsidiaries were Cdn$426 billion (US$370 billion) as at March 31, 2007.
Manulife Financial Corporation trades as ‘MFC’ on the TSX, NYSE and PSE, and under ‘0945’ on the SEHK. Manulife Financial can be found on the Internet at www.manulife.com.
The John Hancock unit, through its insurance companies, comprises one of the largest life insurers in the United States. John Hancock offers a broad range of financial products and services, including life insurance, fixed and variable annuities, mutual funds, 401(k) plans, long term care insurance, college savings, and other forms of business insurance. Additional information about John Hancock may be found at www.johnhancock.com.
John Hancock's primary insurance subsidiaries carry the highest—“AAA”—financial strength rating from Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services.
Long Term Care Insurance is underwritten by John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA 02117
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Melissa Simon Berczuk