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Vermont regulators approve in-force LTC rate hikes for 1st time since '14

As state insurance regulators look to create uniformity in long-term care insurance rate approvals, Vermont regulators in the second quarter approved several rate hikes on in-force blocks of LTC policies for the first time in years.

The recently formed National Association of Insurance Commissioners' Long-Term Care Executive Task Force was created with the mandate to develop a standardized method for reviewing LTC rate proposals. One thing the task force will focus on is assessing the various actuarial methodologies used for granting increases.

Regulators in Vermont, which had not approved a long-term care rate increase since at least 2014, signed off on two rate hikes for Unum Group and one increase for Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Co. during the second quarter. The approved increases for Unum could boost its calculated premiums by almost $924,000 in the Green Mountain State, while Northwestern Mutual could see approximately $219,000 in additional annual premiums, according to a review of public filings collected by S&P Global Market Intelligence.

In aggregate, regulators approved 206 rate hikes during the quarter, which could lead to insurers collecting an additional $107.3 million in calculated written premiums. Genworth Financial Inc. accounted for almost 72% of that aggregate amount. The insurer may receive an additional $76.9 million in calculated premiums from the rate increases regulators approved in the second quarter.

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Over half of Genworth's potential increase stemmed from Virginia, as regulators approved seven hikes for additional calculated premiums of $43.2 million. Those increases stand to impact about 34,000 policyholders. In year-end 2018 regulatory statements, Genworth reported earned premiums of $95.6 million on its individual LTC policies in Virginia.

The second-most-impactful aggregate increase for Genworth occurred in Ohio, as regulators approved two filings in June affecting more than 16,000 policyholders. Those two increases may generate an additional $12.6 million in calculated premiums.

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