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Rate increases for in-force individual LTC policies continued in Q1

As insurers push states to speed up the process of approving long-term care rate increase requests, regulators approved 271 rate increases during the first quarter, according to information collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence’s RateFilings.com.

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Regulators across nine states approved 20 separate rate requests from Genworth Financial Inc., potentially boosting its annual premiums by $23.9 million on select long-term care policies. Nearly 55% of Genworth's calculated premium increase can be attributed to the approvals in North Carolina and Ohio. In total, a little more than 45,000 Genworth policyholders will be paying more for their long-term care insurance.

Manulife Financial Corp.'s John Hancock also received 20 approvals to increase its individual long-term care rates during the first three months of the year. Those approvals may lead to an additional $20.3 million in annual premiums.

A review of the filings show John Hancock is requesting the increases due to a finding in its tri-annual claims study, which was completed in 2016. John Hancock in one of its North Carolina filings said it experienced unfavorable trends compared to its prior study and is seeing "longer-lasting and more expensive claims and increased claims incidence at older attained ages."

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One Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. subsidiary received the most-significant individual rate increase approval, on a calculated premium-change basis, during the quarter. Texas regulators signed off on a 45.1% hike, which could increase the insurer's premiums by $9.0 million annually.

Insurers were not the sole entities to receive approval to increase long-term care rates in the first quarter. Several state regulators granted approval for their state guaranty associations to raise rates on policies associated with the Penn Treaty American Corp. liquidation.

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Down the line, more increases for those policies could be in the offing. According to an Arizona Life & Disability Insurance Guaranty Fund filing, an approved 53% rate increase "will not completely address the asset shortfall that exists in the liquidated company."

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S&P Global Market Intelligence offers a variety of tools to analyze the rate and product filings of insurance companies.

Click here for a webinar with information on the resources S&P Global Market Intelligence has available regarding rate filings.