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From the Editor

By Nate Worrell

Long-Term Care News, Feburary 2021

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When you listen to Clyde tell a story, you can’t help but smile. There is a sparkle in his eye as he meanders through his gregarious narratives. Part of the thrill is being amused by how much he is able to amuse himself. When the punchline eventually comes, he relishes it just as much as his audience.

We missed Clyde’s stories at holiday gatherings last year. He was alone when he ate his Thanksgiving “dinner”—a ham sandwich in a box. For his 92nd birthday, he waved at well-wishers who drove by his nursing home. That sparkle in his eye had a notable dimness.

COVID-19 has certainly cast a shadow across the world, and it has been particularly nefarious to the elderly. We’ve seen the statistics and heard the news from Italy to Josephine’s Senior Care in my backyard. The havoc doesn’t end at the death toll. We are just beginning to see ramifications of isolation, loneliness, and staffing burnout.

Yet, all is not darkness. You can still hear Clyde laughing on his nightly video calls with his son. Vaccination deployment is underway as I write these words. More and more people are evaluating what their plans are going to be when they need assistance as they age. Care homes and workers are learning more about how to prevent outbreaks or react to them as they occur.

My hope is that as we continue to track the impacts COVID is having on the industry, we all also continue our focus on the future. How will technology impact our future? What product innovations might help provide more assistance to our aging populations?

In this newsletter, Mark Gold revisits the past struggles of the industry, challenging us to heed the lessons of history. Mike Bergerson, Missy Gordon, John Hebig, and Joe Long push analytics into the future by exploring visualization techniques.

We are also going to add some “evergreen features” this year: “Section News” will update you on the activities of the section and SOA, and “The Buzz” will highlight readings from around the web. We welcome submissions for any content, and in particular we have a special call for stories of resilience through COVID.

Finally, I want to thank Linda Chow for her three years of service as the co-editor of this newsletter as well as Alex Vichinsky for co-editing. I look forward to serving the section in 2021.

—Nate Worrell, on behalf of the LTC Section Newsletter Co-editors

Section Statement on COVID-19:

The Long Term Care Insurance Section would like to express our support for all those who are on the front lines of the current pandemic. Thank you for caring for our loved ones in these difficult times.

As a way to spread hope and shine a little light in the darkness, we welcome any stories you may have of perseverance, innovation, or resilience. Please email them to sections@soa.org as we would love to feature some of them in a future newsletter.

Section News:

The 2021 LTCI Section Council met in late 2020 to begin to make plans for 2021. New council members include Angela Cobble and Nate Worrell. We also have the welcome return of Jim Glickman.

Podcasts:

  • November—“Changing World of Combination Products.” Al Schmitz walks us through the world of combination products, including how they have evolved and how to differentiate the wide variety of products available.
  • December— “Long-Term Care Experience Reporting Form Updates.” Lynn Manchester and John Hebig discuss the history and recent changes to the LTC experience reporting forms
  • January— “LTC Population Management Research.” Robert Eaton and Missy Gordon discuss their emerging research into LTC population management techniques, wellness programs and interventions, and modernizing how LTC insurers approach the claims process.

Webcast:

  • Past webcasts are available for section members through SOA Engage.

Research:

  • As part of the SOA’s Retirement and Aging Research project:
    • “Impact of COVID-19 on Senior Housing and Support Choices”—Paper and Podcast ( approximately 23 minutes).
      • This report summarizes thoughts and questions raised during the conversation focused on the possible impact of COVID-19 on senior housing and related decisions that retirees and their families may need to make.
    • “Are CCRCs and Senior Housing Communities a Good Choice?” Paper:
      • As a follow-up to the above research, Anna Rappaport provides “a further exploration of senior housing financial risks including regulation issues, due diligence, and other related issues.”

The Buzz:

This is a list of articles compiled from around the web that may be of interest to section members. Links to the articles do not imply endorsement from the SOA and/or the LTCI Section. Please submit considerations for weblinks to the editors (david.weizeorick@continental-ins.com; jane.li@ey.com, nathan.worrell@moodys.com) or to sections@soa.org.

Cross Section: Articles of Note from Other SOA Section Newsletters

From the web:

News Feeds/Compilers:

Articles/Stories/Studies:

Websites to Watch:

  • Milken Institute Long Term Care “Landscape” report.
  • http://ltccovid.org—The LTC COVID website is managed and funded by the International Long-term Care Policy Network (ILPN) and Care Policy and Evaluation Centre (CPEC) at the London School of Economics and Political Science (LSE). They have an active Twitter account (@LTCCovid) that posts global developments.
  • The Home Care Association of America has a host of COVID-19 Resources.

Consultant Corner

From Milliman:

From Oliver Wyman:

  • A case study from Singapore on COVID-19 impacts.

Willis Towers Watson:


Nate Worrell, FSA, is a client support actuary with Moody’s Analytics. He can be contacted at nathan.worrell@moodys.com.