Information on proposed Long-Term Care Premium Rate Increase
December 9, 2011
An important message to policyholders about TIAA-CREF Long-Term Care Insurance
Whether your long-term care insurance policy has been transferred to MetLife or continues to be insured by TIAA-CREF, MetLife administrates all long-term care insurance policies issued by TIAA-CREF. Administration includes all policyholder inquiries, premium collection, and reviewing and paying claims.
We encourage you to call Long-Term Care Customer Service at 888 748- 4824 with any questions regarding your long-term care insurance policy.
Who do I call with questions about my long-term care insurance coverage?
For questions related to long-term care insurance, please contact the long-term care insurance customer service line at MetLife at 888 748-4824.
What is the relationship between MetLife and TIAA-CREF?
The long-term care insurance policies subject to the rate increase filings were originally issued by either Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) or TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (together TIAA-CREF) between 1992 and 2004. These policies are no longer being sold.
In 2004, Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) became the administrator and reinsurer of the TIAA-CREF policies. Administration includes premium collection and reviewing and paying claims.
Beginning in 2007, MetLife made an offer to policyholders and group certificate-holders to assume insuring responsibilities for their policies/certificates. Policyholders/certificate-holders had the option to accept or reject this offer. If accepted, the terms and conditions of their policy/certificate remained the same, but MetLife became the direct insurer of the policy/certificate. If rejected, TIAA-CREF remained the insurer, but MetLife retained administrative and reinsurance obligations.
I hear that MetLife and TIAA-CREF are seeking a long-term care insurance premium increase. What can you tell me about this?
Beginning in May 2011, MetLife and TIAA-CREF requested approval from the requisite insurance departments to increase premiums on a “class basis,” which means the requested change in premiums is not based on any individual’s health status or situation. Your premiums will not change unless and until the appropriate state insurance department approves an increase and MetLife begins implementation of that approved increase.
Was the decision to file for a rate increase driven by MetLife or TIAA-CREF-CREF?
The decision to file for a rate increase was made by MetLife and is the result of MetLife’s analysis of the experience of this block of business. TIAA-CREF has reviewed MetLife’s analysis and approved MetLife’s decision as required under the terms of the reinsurance agreement between them.
On which policies are you seeking to raise rates?
The long-term care insurance policies subject to the rate increase filing are individual long-term care insurance policies that were originally issued by either Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) or TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company (together the TIAA-CREF policies) as well as those policies that have been assumed by Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). These policies were issued between 1992 and 2004 and are no longer being sold.
Why are you seeking to raise rates on TIAA-CREF policies?
The past experience and current assumptions differ from the initial assumptions used to price long-term care insurance policies. These pricing challenges are not unique to MetLife or TIAA-CREF. Overall, the industry has been experiencing pricing challenges that have resulted in requests by insurers to increase premiums on long-term care insurance policies.
When will the premium rate increase become effective?
Some policyholders will begin to receive an increase in their premium rates on their policy anniversary dates in 2012. This is not definitive for all states as the timing of regulatory process is uncertain. Once our rate filing has been approved by the appropriate state insurance departments and MetLife has finalized an implementation schedule, MetLife will send letters with all pertinent information to affected policyholders. This will happen at least 60 days before the increase becomes effective.
How do my premiums compare with long-term care insurance policy premiums from other companies?
We believe they are competitive. Double-digit rate increases have been requested by other carriers as well.
Will policyholders be notified directly?
MetLife will send letters to impacted policyholders after the rate filing is approved by the appropriate state insurance department. For the first launch with effective dates beginning in March 2012, policyholder letters will be mailed on or about December 10, 2011.
Has the state that has jurisdiction over my policy approved the rate increase?
Please contact the long-term care insurance customer service line at MetLife at 888 748-4824. They have current information on your policy, including whether the appropriate state is currently scheduled to be impacted by the rate increase.
Will both individual and group policies/certificates be affected?
The current rate filing pertains only to TIAA-CREF individual policies. In the future, we intend to submit a separate rate filing pertaining to TIAA-CREF group policies.
Is MetLife going to continue to service and pay claims on these policies?
Yes. MetLife remains committed to its existing long-term care insurance policyholders and will continue to ensure that they receive a high level of service whether they remain insured by TIAA-CREF or have been assumed by MetLife.
Is MetLife going to cancel my coverage?
No, as is stated in you policy, your coverage is guaranteed renewable. This means that as long as premiums are paid on time, coverage cannot be cancelled.
Will policyholders currently on claim receive this increase?
A claimant whose policy is impacted by the rate increase and is on waiver of premium will be notified at the same time as other affected policyholders. A claimant on premium waiver will be informed that there will be no impact to them until such time as premium payments resume. The rate increase will take effect immediately when premiums resume if their policy anniversary has passed. If a claimant is not on waiver of premium, the increase will take effect on their policy anniversary date.
Will my policy provisions change as a result of the proposed rate increase?
No. As is stated in your long-term care insurance policy, your policy is a guaranteed renewable contract. This means that as long as premiums are paid on time, coverage cannot be cancelled or changed. Benefits and features can only be reduced if you contact MetLife in writing.
What action should I take regarding this rate increase if I have not yet received a letter?
If an increase is approved for your policy, MetLife will mail you a letter prior to your rate increase effective date. The letter will indicate your current and new premium amounts and other important information. If policy parameters permit, the letter will include options to reduce your coverage to lesson the impact of the rate increase. The information contained in the letter will help you make an informed decision on what action to take, if any, regarding your coverage.
Should you have further questions at that time, contact the long-term care insurance customer service line at MetLife at 888 748-4824.
How can I determine the state where my long-term care insurance policy was issued?
That information can be found on your policy or by contacting the long-term care insurance customer service line at MetLife at 888 748-4824.
Where can I get more information about my specific coverage and answers to questions regarding the rate increase letter I received?
We encourage you to contact the long-term care insurance customer service line at MetLife at 888 748-4824 with any questions. MetLife, as administrator of your long-term care insurance policy, is prepared to answer your questions based on the specifics of your policy.
How can I file a formal complaint?
Please send your written complaint to:
MetLife Long-Term Care Insurance
TIAA Operations Department
P.O. Box 937
Westport, CT 06881-0937
TIAA-CREF refers collectively to Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association of America (TIAA) and its subsidiary TIAA-CREF Life Insurance Company. MetLife refers to Metropolitan Life Insurance Company.