THE BLOG
09/30/2014 02:59 pm ET Updated Nov 29, 2014

How Long Term Care Insurance Companies Mugged Mom and Pop

Dear Long Term Care Insurance Company:

The missus and I have received your notice that you are increasing our premiums by another 50% and that we have to pay more if we want to get the same benefits you promised us 22 years ago. Funny, when you was telling us how important it was for us to have this policy in case one of us got relly sick, we don't seem to remember any mention of raisin' our premiums. In case you ain't done the rithmetic, what you are now askin is 260% of what you told us it was going to cost when you sold us the policy. We started around $1600 a year and now you say we have to pay around $4200. You claim that the increase "is in accordance with laws and regulations", but there ain't a single word as to who or what approved these increases. You xplain by sayin that "Our decision to increase premiums are primarily based on significantly higher claims than originally anticipated", and we feel mighty sorry for that. We would would sure preciate if you would furnish us with the names and amounts of all them executives who took salary reductions, since "you are committed to providing long term care insurance benefits to our policyholders when they need it the most". I'm 85 and I spect I'll be needing it soon.

We do notice that you are kind enough to give us options other than payin' more just to keep what we was promised -- by getting much less benefits when we need it. But now that we know it's o.k. to change the rates, we would like to inform you -- that we would like to pay 50% less than we are now payin' and keep the same benefits. We live on a fixed pension. Our expenses "are significantly higher than originally anticipated." Prices have gone up and our income has stayed the same. And we didn't have no actuaries predicting for us. So we're sure you understand why we have to pay less for the same coverage.

But if for some reason you can't afford to keep us on -- either at the same or lower premium, we have an option for you. How about givin' us back the money we have paid to you over the past 22 years, and then you don't owe us nothing. We'll find us some kinder kinfolk to take care of us. You can even keep the interest and profits you have made off of our money. We never made a claim. You never paid a penny to us or on our behalf. We don't think it's fair to only give us the choice of continuing to do business with a company that took our money and told us how much we needed them only to pull the rug out from under us just when we'll probably need you. You end your letter by sayin' "it is likely that your premium will increase in the future." We know a snake oil salesman when we see one.

Your policyholders
Mom and Pop