Wednesday, May 27, 2020

No. 374: Time Insurance Company—Another Long-Term Care Insurer Heads for Rehabilitation

On May 18, 2020, the Wisconsin Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) issued a press release about its petition to a state court for permission to place Time Insurance Company (Time) in rehabilitation. Because Time is a long-term care (LTC) insurance company, this is a significant development in view of similar actions relating to two other LTC insurance companies: the liquidation of Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Company (Penn Treaty) and the rehabilitation of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP). The first sentence and the second paragraph of the OIC press release read as follows (the full press release is in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post):
Insurance Commissioner Mark Afable took measures today to help protect nearly 200,000 individuals who have long-term care insurance or other insurance policies with Time Insurance Company....
"Our filing with the court today protects nearly 200,000 consumers across the country," said Commissioner Afable. "State law requires me to act when our office believes an insurer is in financial trouble and that is what we have done today."
The Petition
The "Notice of Verified Petition and Verified Petition for Order for Rehabilitation" of Time consists of an eleven-page text and a five-page attachment. The text describes the background, lists the grounds for rehabilitation, and explains why the OIC determined that "rehabilitation is the only remaining option." The petition also states: "The Commissioner intends to file a plan of rehabilitation within 60 days of the Court's entry of the Order for Rehabilitation."

The petition provides details of a change of Time's ownership, Time's redomestication to Puerto Rico and its later redomestication back to Wisconsin, OIC's concerns about Time's risk-based capital (RBC) levels, OIC's cease and desist orders, and other significant matters. The petition is in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

The Statutory Statement
The petition says Time filed its statutory annual statement for the year ended December 31, 2019 on April 3, 2020. The statement shows total admitted assets of $16.2 million, total liabilities of $12.7 million, and statutory net worth of $3.5 million. On page 19.1 of the statement, there is a discussion of whether the company will be able to continue as a going concern. Selected pages of the statutory statement are in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

The RBC Ratios
RBC data for the past five years are shown on page 22 of Time's statutory statement for 2019. The RBC ratio at the end of each year, with company action level as the denominator of each ratio, are as follows (the RBC ratios with authorized control level as the denominator are twice the ratios shown here): 238 percent in 2015, 431 percent in 2016, 273 percent in 2017, 152 percent in 2018, and 210 percent in 2019.

An Omission
In The Insurance Forum (my monthly newsletter published from January 1974 through December 2013) and later on this blog site, I have written extensively about LTC insurance for 32 years. Recently a reader brought to my attention an important item on which I have not written.

My first article about LTC insurance was in the February 1988 issue of the Forum. It grew out of a solicitation I had received in the mail concerning a new LTC insurance product then being offered by Union Fidelity Life Insurance Company.

My second article about LTC insurance was in the August 1991 issue of the Forum. It grew out of an article in the June 1991 issue of Consumer Reports, the magazine of Consumers Union (CU). The CU article was entitled "An Empty Promise to the Elderly?" It described a CU study of 46 LTC insurance policies. None of the policies was rated "excellent" or "very good," but CU did not discuss the reason for those findings. In my August 1991 issue, I said "excellent" or "very good" LTC insurance policies would never be found because the problem of financing the LTC exposure violates insurance principles and therefore cannot be solved through private insurance.

In the July 2008 issue of the Forum, I elaborated on the discussion in my August 1991 issue. The July 2008 article is in the complimentary package offered at the end of this post.

What I have never discussed, because I have no recollection of ever having seen it, is a 16-page "Special Report" on LTC insurance published in the October 1997 issue of CU's magazine. The report included two pages of "ratings and recommendations" of 67 "comprehensive" LTC insurance policies and 47 "nursing home only" policies. The 67 "comprehensive" policies were ranked by "overall score." Six of them were rated as "very good," and none as "excellent." The top two policies on the list were "very good" Penn Treaty policies. My reader asserted that CU's October 1997 report created a huge demand for Penn Treaty's LTC insurance policies. I do not know whether his assertion is correct, but he may be right.

General Observations
I am not aware of anyone who has formally and publicly agreed with me that private LTC insurance cannot solve the problem of financing the LTC exposure. Nor am I aware of anyone who has formally and publicly disagreed with me. My views on the matter remain unchanged.

The previously mentioned July 2008 Forum article, entitled "Shortcomings of Private Insurance in Financing Long-Term Care," ends with this sentence: "I think many of those who try to address the problem [of financing long-term care] by purchasing private long-term care insurance will encounter disappointment."

Since October 2013, when I began this blog, I have received hundreds of emails from disgruntled owners of LTC insurance policies. For the most part, the complaints are about substantial premium increases or difficulties encountered in the handling of claims. Often the policyholders ask for my advice on what to do. In response, I have always said I am neither an attorney nor a consultant, and am not in a position to comment beyond what I have written. I then tell each person how to obtain, through the search box in the extreme upper left corner of the home page of my blog site, my posts relating to his or her company or about LTC insurance generally. I also sometimes suggest that the person contact the state insurance department in the person's home state. Each email from a disappointed LTC insurance policyholder has been a painful experience.

Available Material
I am offering a complimentary 30-page package consisting of the OIC press release (1 page), the OIC petition (16 pages), selected pages from Time's 2019 statutory statement (8 pages), and the July 2008 Forum article (5 pages). Email and ask for the May 2020 package about the rehabilitation of Time.