Monday, April 23, 2018

No. 263: Long-Term Care Insurance—More on the Financial Condition of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania

In No. 260 (posted April 2, 2018) I wrote about the worsening financial condition of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP), which is running off the long-term care (LTC) insurance business of the former Conseco Senior Health Insurance Company. My comments there were based primarily on SHIP's statutory financial statement for the year ended December 31, 2017. A reader later shared with me SHIP's "2017 Management's Discussion and Analysis" (MD&A), which contains information that I think warrants this follow-up.

The Runoff Rate
The MD&A provides information about SHIP's policies and the rate at which they are running off. Here is an excerpt:
The Company's business consists exclusively of closed blocks of long-term care policies including more than 70 distinct policy forms with many state variations for each form. The policy forms include home health care, nursing home, and comprehensive plans. The Company discontinued selling policies in 2003 [when it was Conseco Senior Health]. As of December 31, 2017, approximately 65 percent of all active policies are comprehensive plans that include benefits for both home health care and nursing facilities. There are 61,410 members under these policies at year-end, compared to 69,620 at the previous year-end, a decline of 11.8 percent. At the expected runoff rate, in 10 years the number of members is anticipated to decline to approximately 14,000.
SHIP outsources many of its services. Here is how the MD&A describes those services and the related expenses:
The Company operates from its offices in Carmel, Indiana and utilizes third-party providers for key functions. These providers include a third-party administrator for policy and claim administration, asset managers for investment portfolio management and accounting, and actuarial professionals for pricing and valuation. This outsource approach provides for scalability of services and related expenses.
Effective March 1, 2014, the Company transferred its employees and physical assets to affiliate Fuzion Analytics, Inc. ("Fuzion"), and executed a management services agreement under which Fuzion provides comprehensive management services to the Company. Fuzion, a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Oversight Trust, was founded in 2012 and provides long-term care management services to the Company. Management fees paid by the Company to Fuzion are subject to annual decreases based on policyholder counts and paid claims in the Company's business.
Risk-Based Capital
In No. 260 I discussed SHIP's risk-based capital (RBC) ratios, where the numerators are total adjusted capital and the denominators are company action level RBC. The MD&A says this:
The decline in Total Adjusted Capital in 2017 and 2016 was $19.4 million and $33.5 million, respectively. Favorable underwriting losses and investment gains recognized in the current year compared to prior year was partially mitigated by a reserve credit deficit recognized in current year from a coinsurance agreement that was entered as of July 1, 2016. In 2017, the Company received a dividend from the parent, Oversight Trust, of $4.0 million....
[T]he Company's projections indicate a need for future rate increases to support an RBC ratio above statutory action levels throughout the runoff of the business. The age of these policies and the effect of fixed rate compound inflation has inflated benefits beyond actuarial projections and produced an anti-selection impact that would not have been considered in pricing projections. Accordingly, in 2016, the Company began filing for rate increases....
Investments in Offerings of Platinum Partners
In No. 260 I mentioned SHIP's investments in offerings of Platinum Partners, a hedge fund in serious financial and legal trouble. The MD&A discusses Platinum, although it does not identify Platinum by name. In No. 260 I underestimated the amounts of such investments, because the figures I showed involved only those investments with the word "Platinum" in them. Here is the MD&A's discussion of the situation:
Historically, the Company placed approximately ten percent of its portfolio with other asset managers for investments in alternative asset classes. During 2016, investment principals and investment funds with which these asset managers had connections, came under investigation by the Securities and Exchange Commission for alleged violation of securities laws and criminal activities. In response to this, in 2016 the Company revoked all investment authorization from these asset managers, and directly assumed the ongoing management of these portfolios. As of year-end, the Company's holdings in these portfolios was $184.5 million. The Company recorded losses of $5.2 million in 2017 and $27.8 million in 2016 on assets in these portfolios believed to be other than temporarily impaired. Because of the long-term nature of the Company's liabilities and sufficient liquidity in core assets, the Company determined that a "fire-sale" of assets was not necessary or appropriate. The Company will continue efforts to maximize value as an exit strategy in these portfolios which may take multiple years to fully liquidate.
Reinsurance with Roebling Re
In No. 260 I mentioned that SHIP took credit in 2017 for $1.13 billion of reserve liabilities ceded to Roebling Re (Barbados). I said Roebling Re is not authorized, is a non-U S. reinsurer, and is not affiliated with SHIP. I also said I do not know the name of the owner, the names of its senior officers, or anything about its financial condition. The MD&A discusses Roebling Re, but does not identify the company by name. Here is the MD&A's discussion of SHIP's relationship with Roebling Re:
Effective July 1, 2016, the Company entered a coinsurance with funds withheld agreement, under which the Company ceded 49 percent of the major blocks of its long-term care business. The counterparty to this agreement is a non-profit-motivated reinsurer established exclusively to support insurance companies with long duration liabilities. The reinsurer was to generate capital through investment in long-dated, high-quality investment strategies, and the corresponding issuance of investment-grade bonds; however, the reinsurer was not able to participate in the investment strategies as designed and was not able to meet the obligations under the agreement in 2017.
The coinsurance agreement includes an experience refund provision under which the Company is entitled to 90 percent of profits earned by the reinsurer (this provision does not apply to losses incurred by the reinsurer). Reserves on the ceded business are established by the Company and these reserves are fully supported by assets controlled and managed by the Company in a funds withheld account. In 2016, the Company received a $10 million ceding commission. In 2016 and 2017, the Company recorded loss reimbursements under the agreement of $16.7 million and $23.2 million, respectively. As a result of the reinsurer not meeting its obligations under the reinsurance contract, the Company recognized a $12.6 million reduction in surplus due to a reserve credit deficiency in 2017. The Company will terminate the reinsurance agreement in 2018.
General Observations
I have shown in this follow-up a few excerpts from SHIP's 2017 MD&A that I found interesting. I think the two most important are the discussions of SHIP's investments in the offerings of Platinum Partners and SHIP's relationship with Roebling Re. When I wrote No. 260 I had no idea of the problems with that relationship, or that SHIP will terminate the reinsurance agreement in 2018. I do not know why SHIP decided not to identify Platinum Partners or Roebling Re in the MD&A.

Available Material
I am offering a complimentary PDF containing SHIP's 11-page 2017 MD&A. Email and ask for SHIP's 2017 MD&A.