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What happens if a LTC insurer goes out of business? How common does this happen?

Each state has a guaranty fund. Here is the national website:  It describes the entire insolvency process. Basically, the guaranty association cooperates with the commissioner and the receiver in determining whether the company can be rehabilitated or if the failed company should be liquidated and its policies transferred to financially sound insurance companies. Once the liquidation is ordered, the guaranty association provides coverage to the company’s policyholders who are state residents up to each state’s limit. There is a great FAQ section on the national site.

This is an extremely rare situation with LTCI.  Conseco Senior Health Insurance Company and Penn Treaty are the only ones not taken over by another carrier to my knowledge.  Conseco is in an independent trust managed by the state of Pennsylvania.  Penn Treaty’s home page addresses the issue in case they are ordered into receivership.  There is also a link to the coverage limits for LTCI and Med supp from the Penn Treaty site.  Most states have at least $300K for LTCI.  These issues happened due to liberal underwriting, high commissions, low premium.  That formula simply doesn’t work for the LTCI market and it sure doesn’t work in a bad economy.   Companies can’t get away with that fatal combination anymore thanks to the NAIC Rate Stabilization that was passed back in 2000. It has taken a decade for states to adopt it but it has some teeth in it. However, NAIC is working on additional rate stabilization regulation. That section starts on p. 144 of my new book. You can get it here:


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  1. Keith Steva says:

    Hi Phyllis,

    With a Genworth, New York Life, or OneAmerica Long Term Care (LTC) insurance is the “premium” insured or the benefits? Other words if I have paid $50,000 in premiums for $500,000 of benefits, and the company goes out of business, am I covered for $300,000 (South Dakota) of benefits when I enter the nursing home or only $50,000?

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Keith this is an easy one. The coverage is for benefits, not premium. Good answer, right?

  2. Chuck Paulson says:

    My wife and I both took out 15 year term life policies through Genworth Annuity and Life Insurance. We are both 72 and don’t want to look for a new company if possible. I have 8 years left on my policy and my wife has 10 years left. Does Genworth have a federal or state guaranty program for policyholders in place? Our understanding is that a guaranty program is required by law to cover policy payouts if the company goes out of business. Please advise

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Every state has a state guaranty fund Chuck and it covers life insurance, health insurance, annuities and long-term care insurance in varying amounts. Simply go to enter your state to see how it works in your state. This is a state fund, not something set up by Genworth or any other insurance company.

  3. sara caracciolo says:

    thank you fr the information it was so helpful in eleviating my fers of genworth not continuing to fulfillthe contract for my long term care.

  4. Ross Reineke says:

    My wife and I both have LTCI policies with Genworth Financial. Genworth lost 1.2 billion dollars last year. What happens to our policies if Genworth goes bankrupt?
    We have paid our premiums for 10 years now. Wondering if it’s worth paying our premiums this year??

    Thank you,

    Ross Reineke

    1. Phyllis Shelton says:

      Hi Ross. I’m so glad you found me. Please do not give up your Genworth policies as you have paid on them 10 years now. Policies cost much more today than they did 10 years ago plus you and your wife are 10 years older. There is a state guaranty fund in every state to monitor companies that have severe financial issues. You can read about it here Genworth has many, many safeguards in place to protect the claims-paying ability.

      If you get a rate increase in the future that you find unaffordable, please request options to decrease your benefits to lower the premium instead of cancelling your policies. I just wrote a blog about that actually along with welcoming new subscribers like you: Please let me know if I can help you further. Phyllis Shelton

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