Over 8,800 Californians Affected By Largest Long-Term Care Insurance Company Insolvency

Over 8,800 Californians Affected By Largest Long-Term Care Insurance Company Insolvency

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

For more information, contact: Bonnie Burns, Training & Policy Specialist, 831-438-6677

 

Sacramento, CA — The largest long-term care insurance company insolvency in the history of this industry, estimated at $2.1 billion, is underway. On March 1, 2017, a Pennsylvania court issued an order of liquidation for Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company (PTNA) and American Network Insurance Company (ANIC). This liquidation will affect approximately 8,818 policyholders in California and approximately 76,000 beneficiaries across the country whose average age is 79 years.

 

When a court orders the liquidation of an insurance company, each state’s guarantee fund assumes responsibility for policies owned by the residents of their state. Benefits that the guarantee fund will pay are limited to an amount specified in state law. In California, the limit on benefits that will be paid by the state’s guarantee fund is $554,556. Since these policies are long-term care insurance contracts they are guaranteed renewable as long as premiums continue to be paid, and the benefits they provide will be covered up to the state limit.

 

Policyholders will be informed of the liquidation in a series of notices sent by the state’s guarantee association and the company. Among those notices will be a document with frequently asked questions and answers and Penn Treaty’s call center number (1-800-362-0700). Penn Treaty will continue doing all the administrative work of the policies, including continuing to collect premiums, process claims, and send periodic notices and communications to policyholders. The guarantee fund will also be sending periodic notices as necessary.

 

“Preserving coverage for these older policyholders and ensuring that the legal process of liquidation is not misinterpreted are our primary concerns,” says long-time national long-term care advocate, Bonnie Burns of California Health Advocates. “It’s important that these elderly policyholders continue to pay their premiums to keep their coverage in force in case they need to use those benefits.”  Some of the key messages for policyholders to know, Burns explains, are:

 

  1. Their policy is still in-force and valid.  They still have long-term care coverage.
  2. If they pay their premiums, their policy will stay in-force subject to certain coverage limits.  Keep paying the premium.
  3. If they need long-term care, their policy will pay benefits if they meet the policy requirements.  Claims will be paid under the terms of their policy and up to the amount allowed by the state’s guarantee fund.
  4. If they are already receiving benefits, their benefits will continue up to the policy limit or the limit allowed by the state’s guarantee fund, whichever is lower.

 

“If you come across or know anyone with one of these policies” said Burns, “please refer them to the Penn Treaty call center at 1-800-362-0700, and encourage them to maintain contact and return for future help if needed.”

 

For more information on this insolvency, see:

 

 

California Health Advocates is an independent non-profit organization that provides quality Medicare and related health care coverage information, education and policy advocacy.  CHA equips community organizations and government agencies with up-to-date information, especially the 24 local HICAPs, which provide benefits counseling and community education directly to those with Medicare and their families.  For more information, visit its website at cahealthadvocates.org.

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Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.