Tuesday, July 02, 2013

In the news....

■ Is one ever too young to buy life or disability insurance? There are certainly some compelling reasons to do so: depending on the policy type, one can lock in much lower rates for a long period of time. And of course, it guarantees that you have at least some protection in place should your health go south. The WSJ has more.

■ Back in the day, President Obama promised that rates would decrease by 3000%. As we now know, that was, um....optimistic to say the least. Blue Grass blogger David Adams reports that "the Kentucky Department of Insurance has leaked data showing health insurance premiums under ObamaCare will increase by an average of eighty percent at the start of 2014"

■ And speaking of the WSJ, they also report something we've noted for a while now:

"The long-term-insurance industry now is shrinking, premiums are soaring and there is no fix in sight."

There are, of course, a number of contributing factors at work here, most notably retention and claims.


Here's the thing: Long Term Care insurance (LTCi) is most similar to disability insurance in terms of complexity and benefits. So it stands to reason that many (most?) carriers who've been in the market for a while based at least some of their rate structure on assumptions carried over from the DI side. One of those is "retention;" that is, how many policies stay in force over the long haul. It appears that many more folks have kept their LTCi plans than the carriers had anticipated.

Which sets up the next problem: claims. If more folks are holding onto their policies, then more folks than expected are experiencing claims. And the cost of care isn't abating, either, which tends to create a vicious cycle.

■ And finally, a while back we brought you the news that 3d printers were helping to fashion new organs. Apparently, that was only the beginning:

"Damaged bones could be fixed with a new technique that involves 3D printing ... if a child had a jawbone defect, you could take an image of the defect, feed it into a computer and print a replacement to precisely fill the defect using the patient's own cells"

Very cool.

[Thanks to FoIB Holly R and Gail S for their news tips]
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