People are often surprised by the process involved in putting a long-term care insurance plan in place and often wonder why it takes so long to get an approval.  Here is a quick review of what the process looks like.

When you complete and application and apply for a long-term care insurance policy, the insurance company will go through an underwriting process which is the review of information relevant to the application.  However, before they can review the information, they must gather the information and here lies the problem.

Most plans require a review of the applicant’s medical information.  This may be a simply phone call to review the questions ask on the application but often times it is a review of your medical records which are attained from your doctor.  When the request for your medical records is sent to your doctor, they will forward that request to their records copy service which is usually an independent third party service.  It can take from a couple of weeks to a couple of months before the insurance company receives them.  Now, the underwriting process begins and is often completed within days of receiving the medical records.

Keep in mind, if the information on the application is different than that in the medical records, this can lead to additional delays as the insurance company may have to go back and request additional information from providers that they were not aware of because the information was left off the application.

The best way to get a speedy approval is to provide as much information about your health history up front on the application including most recent visits and any specialist outside of your normal doctor you have seen.  You can also speed up the process by letting your doctor know you are applying for long-term care insurance so they can help facilitate getting the complete medical records out in a timely manner.  And most of all, be patient, it often takes longer than planned but the approval is well worth the wait.