Thursday, April 11, 2019

No. 308: Long-Term Care Insurance and the Insolvency of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania

On April 3, 2019, I obtained the statutory annual statement of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP) for the year ended December 31, 2018. SHIP has been running off the long-term care (LTC) insurance business of the former Conseco Senior Health Insurance Company (CSHI) since 2008. I wrote four articles in The Insurance Forum about the transfer of CSHI's LTC insurance business to SHIP; the articles are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

The Insolvency
SHIP's 2018 statement (on pages 2 and 3) shows that total liabilities of $2.66 billion exceed total admitted assets of $2.22 billion by $0.44 billion. Thus the company is insolvent. Also, the statement (on page 4) shows that the company incurred a net loss of $0.5 billion in 2018. Those pages are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

I have posted several items about SHIP on my blog, and have commented from time to time about the worsening financial condition of the company. My most recent prior post, based on the company's 2017 statement, is in No. 260 (April 2, 2018).

A Puzzling Sentence
SHIP's 2018 statement (on page 19.2) contains this sentence: "There is not substantial doubt about the Company's ability to continue as a going concern." I find puzzling the inclusion of such a sentence in the financial statement of an insolvent company. Page 19.2 is in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

The Jurat
In the SHIP statement I obtained, the jurat section at the bottom of page 1 shows the names of three officers: Barry Lee Staldine, President and Chief Executive Officer; Ginger Susan Darrough, Chief Financial Officer and Treasurer; and Kristine Tejano Rickard, Secretary. However, there were no signatures of those officers, the notary section was blank, and there was no indication of when the Pennsylvania department received the statement. I contacted the department, and a spokesperson promptly sent me a copy of page 1 showing the signatures, the notarization dated February 26, and the department's March 5 receipt stamp. Both versions of page 1 are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

Directors and Affiliates
The directors listed on page 1 in SHIP's 2018 statement are Staldine, Darrough, Julianne Marie Bowler, Cecil Dale Bykerk, John Martin Morrison, Gregory Vincent Serio, and Thomas Edward Hampton.

According to page 19.12 in the 2018 statement, SHIP is affiliated with Fuzion Analytics, Inc., and both are wholly owned subsidiaries of the Senior Health Care Oversight Trust. SHIP and Fuzion have a management agreement under which SHIP paid $15.5 million to Fuzion in 2018. According to page 19.11 in the 2018 statement, SHIP, Fuzion, and the Oversight Trust file consolidated federal income tax returns. Pages 19.11 and 19.12 are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

Risk-Based Capital
When I discuss risk-based capital (RBC) ratios, I refer to the ratio where the numerator is total adjusted capital and the denominator is company action level RBC, and where the RBC ratio is expressed as a percentage. According to page 22 in SHIP's 2018 statement, the company's RBC ratios were 108 in 2014 (red flag zone), 80 in 2015 (company action zone), 82 in 2016 (company action zone), and 71 in 2017 (regulatory action zone). For 2018, total adjusted capital is minus $466.8 million, authorized control level RBC is $51.3 million, and company action level RBC (twice the authorized control level RBC) is $102.6 million. Thus the RBC ratio for 2018 is minus 455 percent (minus $466.8 million divided by $102.6 million), which means the company is deep in the mandatory control zone. I described the history and nature of RBC ratios in the August 2011 issue of the Forum. Page 22 of the statement and the relevant pages from the August 2011 issue are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

The Surplus Note
In 2015 SHIP issued a $50 million surplus note, which has an impact on the financial condition of the company. Without the note, the company's RBC ratios at the ends of 2015, 2016, and 2017 would have been in the mandatory control zone. SHIP has not repaid any portion of the principal of the note, and has not paid any interest on the note. At the end of 2018, according to page 19.13 in the 2018 statement, the amount of unpaid interest on the note is $11.55 million, so that the total amount of the note is now $61.55 million. I wrote about the note in No. 260. Page 19.13 is in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

My Requests
When an insurance company becomes insolvent, it is common practice for the insurance commissioner in the company's state of domicile (Pennsylvania in this case) to seek state court permission to assume control of the company and place it in rehabilitation. When I learned of SHIP's insolvency, I wrote to the Pennsylvania department. I said I was planning a blog post, and asked for a short statement suitable for inclusion in the post. In reply, a spokesperson said:
In terms of the financial statement, we can say we are aware of the company's financial situation from their annual statement. Beyond that, we are prohibited by law from discussing a company's financial status.
I sent a similar request to the National Organization of Life and Health Guaranty Associations (NOLHGA). In reply, a spokesperson said:
It has been reported that the Pennsylvania Insurance Department has given the Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania 90 days to submit a plan for the continued operation of the company. We continue to monitor the situation, and our member life and health insurance guaranty associations stand ready to provide protection to policyholders should the need arise.
General Observations
SHIP has been a run-off company from its inception, and therefore does not sell new policies. Also, the company's financial condition has been worsening for many years. For those reasons it is possible that the company, for all practical purposes, has been under the direct control of the Pennsylvania commissioner for many years. Thus the commissioner may have felt there was no need to ask the court's permission to formalize control. That is why I sought comments from the Pennsylvania department and from NOLHGA.

With regard to the response from NOLHGA, I do not know how SHIP can erase a deficit of almost half a billion dollars. Further, in view of the current distressed state of the LTC insurance market, I believe that any efforts to rehabilitate the company, or to sell part or all of the company, are doomed to failure. I think the Pennsylvania commissioner will seek court permission to liquidate the company.

A Late Note
Just before this item was posted, I saw a report that SHIP entered into a letter agreement in February 2018 with the Pennsylvania department regarding the company's financial condition (probably the matter referred to in NOLHGA's statement to me). The report also said the company has filed its "Management's Discussion and Analysis" (MD&A) relating to the 2018 statement. I immediately requested the letter agreement and the MD&A from the Pennsylvania department. With regard to the letter agreement, the department spokesperson said the department "does not confirm information regarding a company's financial status unless and until formal action occurs."  The spokesperson sent me the MD&A.  I have reviewed it, and have no comment on it.  However, I am including it in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

Available Material
I am offering a complimentary 37-page PDF consisting of the four articles in the Forum about the transfer of CSHI's LTC insurance business to SHIP (10 pages), relevant pages about RBC ratios from the August 2011 issue of the Forum (6 pages), pages of SHIP's 2018 statement from which I drew information for this post (10 pages), and the company's MD&A (11 pages). Email and ask for the April 2019 SHIP package.