MassMutual Seeks to Raise Long-Term-Care Insurance Rates

Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co. is seeking steep premium increases on long-term-care insurance policyholders, a move that will make it much costlier for thousands of customers to pay for nursing homes, assisted living and in-home assistance.

The potential increases would apply to about 54,000 of its 72,000 long-term-care policyholders, the company said. In total, the insurer is asking state regulators to approve increases averaging about 77% per customer, a company spokeswoman said.

Before this week, MassMutual had been one of relatively few holdouts, resisting raising rates on existing policyholders as errors in pricing have haunted insurers and turned many consumers against the product. Over the past decade, some rivals have saddled customers with a doubling in premiums.

While the 54,000 customers is a small slice of the approximately 7.3 million U.S. policyholders across all insurers, financial advisers say the move dramatizes how serious the mispricing problems are for the industry. MassMutual has more flexibility than most to absorb poor results without asking longtime customers to pay more. The Springfield, Mass., company is also one of the most diversified and financially strongest, and it is owned by its policyholders, not shareholders.

“This was a difficult decision, made only after our ongoing analysis indicated it was absolutely necessary to preserve our ability to continue to protect our policyowners given the many factors that have changed over the years, such as people living longer, the need for long term care growing rapidly, and the cost of long term care services increasing,” MassMutual spokeswoman Laura Crisco said in an email.

The reverberations will hit as investors and policyholders are still absorbing the disclosure in January that General Electric Co. needs to add $15 billion to back its long-term-care policyholder reserves, over seven years. The unexpectedly large size of the shortfall has investors and analysts concerned that additional reserve charges and rate increases are ahead as more insurers come to grips with past mistakes.

“The challenges occurring [at GE] will broaden and impact additional insurers,” Evercore ISI analyst Thomas Gallagher said in a note to clients.

MassMutual began selling long-term-care policies in 2000. At the time, many insurers thought they had the perfect product to profit from people’s concerns about becoming unable to care for themselves and outliving their savings.

But by the end of the decade, growing numbers of insurers concluded they had badly miscalculated how many people would hold on to the policies and file claims, and how long they would draw benefits before dying. Since 2008, ultralow interest rates have hurt their ability to earn interest income as they await claims.

From a peak of more than 100 insurers selling long-term-care policies, only about a dozen still do, including MassMutual. Sales have collapsed amid consumer alarm and fewer agents pitching the product.

Just 66,000 traditional policies were bought last year, insurance-industry-funded research firm Limra says. That is down from hundreds of thousands a decade ago.

MassMutual said the increases would apply to its “earlier policy series,” some of which have lifetime benefits that are no longer sold. Policyholders will have options for holding down an increase. Typically, insurers allow consumers to give up features such as inflation adjustments or otherwise reduce benefits.

Policies sold today typically cost significantly more and have less-generous benefits than earlier versions. A buyer in his or her late 50s to early 60s can expect to pay roughly $3,000 annually for a policy whose benefits grow to just over $300,000 or so when the owner is in his or her 80s, when claims are often filed, according to financial advisers.

Write to Leslie Scism at leslie.scism@wsj.com

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Las Vegas woman identified as victim of U.S. 95 crash last week Dummy Post

A gray Chevrolet Trailblazer, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
A blue Toyota Camry, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
A gray Chevrolet Trailblazer, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
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Las Vegas woman identified as victim of U.S. 95 crash last week

A gray Chevrolet Trailblazer, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
A blue Toyota Camry, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
A gray Chevrolet Trailblazer, seen at the site of a fatal traffic crash on U.S. 95 southbound (north of Ann Road) in Las Vegas on Friday. (Nevada Highway Patrol)
Las Vegas morning update for Friday, May 4 — VIDEO
20-year-old facing charges in central Las Vegas shooting
Second suspect faces charges in deadly shooting in central Las Vegas
Motorcyclist suffers head injury in southwest Las Vegas crash

A woman killed last week after a crash in the northwestern Las Vegas Valley has been identified by the Clark County coroner’s office.

Sandra Bonafont, 56, of Las Vegas died of multiple blunt force injuries on April 27 when a Chevrolet Trailblazer rear-ended her blue Toyota Camry at high speed on southbound U.S. Highway 95, north of Ann Road, according to the Nevada Highway Patrol.

The Chevrolet driver was hospitalized at University Medical Center with survivable injuries. Impairment did not appear to be a factor, the highway patrol has said.

Contact Rio Lacanlale at rlacanlale@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-0381. Follow @riolacanlale on Twitter.

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ZZ Top kicks off limited engagement this weekend at The Venetian Las Vegas

This weekend, ZZ TOP kicked off their limited engagement to two sold-out audiences Friday, April 20 and Saturday, April 21 at The Venetian Theatre inside The Venetian Las Vegas . The rock icons received a standing ovation as soon as they took the stage each night, and treated their fans to some of their most iconic hits, including "Waitin’ for the Bus" "Jesus Just Left Chicago."

Start the conversation, or Read more at RGT Online.

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Fashion show focused on HIV prevention for Las Vegas youth

The Gay and Lesbian Community Center of Southern Nevada is hosting a free event Friday aimed at fighting HIV with fashion — and 17,000 expired condoms. Condom Couture, which is helmed by the center’s HIV outreach coordinator, Channing Carney-Filmore, is a means to spotlight National Youth HIV Awareness Day.

Designers from across the valley have created looks using 17,000 condoms donated from ONE Condom to help create a dialog around protection and safe sex. A panel of judges, including X107.5’s Sylvia Alvarado and Q100.5 host Natalia Hernandez, will choose the winner based on originality, style and difficulty of design.

Condom Couture is focused on raising HIV awareness among youth, as one in five new HIV diagnoses in the U.S. affect young people ages 13 to 24, Carney-Filmore said. And in Nevada, she said there is an upward trend of HIV infections in those ages 25 to 34.

The event is another way the center is continuing that education in a fun, interactive way. Intermission will include additional educational presentations, like how to properly put on a condom. It begins at 6 p.m. at the center, located at 401 S. Maryland Parkway.

“It’s important to know how it’s transmitted,” Carney-Filmore says. “There’s a huge stigma around HIV, and if we start having an open dialogue — there’s a lot of misinformation out there. It’s important to have this discussion because we can help improve the quality of life for other people.”

Carney-Filmore spends three days a week doing risk-reduction counseling, testing, working with clients, providing outreach and leading support groups for those living with HIV and AIDS. In 2015, 8,894 people were reported to be living with HIV in Las Vegas, according to aidsvu.org.

Typically, she begins with the basics: How you contract HIV, how to protect yourself, the history of HIV and AIDS and more.

“[AIDS] used to be a death sentence and now people are living long, healthy lives because of medication and resources,” Carney-Filmore says. “If we have newly HIV-positive individuals, we let them know you will live a long healthy life as long as you’re taking medication.”

The center also has a Spanish-speaking support group and is a wealth of knowledge on other resources, like the Ryan White HIV-AIDS program, which is aimed toward low-income clients and people without insurance. The program provides comprehensive care and support services for people with HIV and can also provide assistance with medication, housing, food and other necessities.

April is also STD Awareness month. There were more than 12,500 reports of chlamydia in Clark County in 2017, as well as 4,592 cases of gonorrhea and 966 cases of early syphilis, according to the Southern Nevada Health District.

The Southern Nevada Health District and AIDS Healthcare Foundation have partnered to bring mobile testing units to the Street Teens at 5599 S. Pecos Road from 4 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday. From 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. April 25, testing units will be at the Nevada Partnership for Homeless Youth at 4981 Shirley Street.

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Reasons For Why You Switch Apartments for Rent In Spokane WA

There are plenty of reasons for why you should switch your apartment. It is not normal for people to switch between apartments ever so often, but, it still does happen. There are many reasons behind why this might happen. It is not nice or appropriate to categorize this act under any form of group. In fact, there are many reasons behind why anyone would find the great need to change rental apartments in Washington. One of the main reasons, which are primarily why almost everyone switches his or her apartment, is a change in household size. Either your partner moves in with you and the space is not enough to accommodate both of you comfortably, or you get married or choose to adopt a child or even have a child. The possibilities are endless, but the fact remains the same that your household size increases.

Another reason why anyone might need to change their current choice of apartments for rent in Spokane WA would be an alteration in their financial status. Losing a job would definitely prompt you to move into a smaller and less costly apartment. On the other hand, getting a raise or finding a job with a higher pay might will you into renting a larger and more comfortable apartment. You might want to allow yourself more margins for your living space or you might not. But, a change in one’s financial status usually prompts them to move their place of living to some other location.

Although there are plenty more reasons behind why such a change would be entertained, there are other consequences to such a decision. Firstly you need to inform your landlord about the fact that you are transferring or moving or even leaving. The advantage of doing so is that your landlord might have another apartment or location that might cater to your needs. That way you will not need to go on and bout any searches for apartments for rent. You might even score a discount. Also, it is vital because you both will need to finish all the paperwork and official documentation regarding your current stay.

It is good to also make frequent checks on how your search is going. If the first option does not work out as well as you expect it to be, then you will need to conduct personal search for apartments in Spokane WA. There are many things that you will still need to take into mind. Other than that, your move is of vital importance and planning it is even more so. Determining what items you will need or want to take with you to your new place is a tough decision to make. Also deciding what needs to be thrown away and what does not is tough. For all these decisions you will need time and a lot of that too. So make sure to give yourself a safe margin in order to think things through.

 

How to Make Your Search Inclusive about Rental Apartments in Washington

When the matter is related to looking for an apartment, you get ready with all your gears and find websites, snapshots details of the apartments and make your list of all the options that you like to consider. You think that your most of the job is done but, in fact, not even the half of the work is done. This is only compiling the data that you have done! The practical stage has yet to start. The real challenge is going to start when you narrow down your selected items. All the sifting and comparing will need you to set an appointment with the landlord and drive to the spot. If the area is known to you, finding the amenities in the close vicinity of your house is not difficult. You can go and check these things even before you set an appointment with the owner. Among the many apartments for rent, check those first which are situated near your home as all the amenities and important places are in your full knowledge.

When you start checking rental apartments in Washington, situated at a distance from your home, check the amenities in detail because if the facilities that you are looking for are not matching your search, there is no need to spend more time on it. Look for another apartment that is more suitable for you. Choosing a most proper abode depends on your understanding of your personal and family needs. If you have small children and they love to play outside on the peaceful road in front of your home then an apartment near the main road busy with traffic is not for you.

Among the many other amenities that you must have in your apartment is a good floor plan, modern style windows and doors, spacious closet, a fully equipped kitchen, and washroom etc. Make sure that these facilities are not compromised in any case. If anyone f these facilities are lacking, your comfort of living is dwindled. The furnishing and setting of your apartment look classier when the windows style is modern. The interior decoration and designing mostly depends on the doors and windows. Other factors that have their role in the elegant style of your home setting are the shades of walls and closets painting, lighting, and smart fireplaces. New apartments for rent mostly have all these features.

Apartments for rent in Spokane WA can be your best choice if you are conscious of your home style. With that said, other things that you need to be mindful of are to check all the appliances and their working condition especially if the apartment was previously lived by other family, the wiring and the electricity box, heating and cooling facility and other related issues that make the backbone of a comfortable life inside an apartment.

 

 

Trump Golf Club Sign Splashed With Red Paint

(WEST PALM BEACH, Fla.) — Red paint was splashed across the sign outside President Donald Trump’s golf club near his Florida estate.

Images posted online by The Palm Beach Post show a worker cleaning red paint Sunday morning from the stone sign at the entrance to the Trump International Golf Club in West Palm Beach.

Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Therese Barbera said the U.S. Secret Service was investigating.

Secret Service spokesman Joseph Casey referred questions to the sheriff’s office.

Images posted online by ABC News early Sunday showed large splotches of red paint obscuring some of the letters on the polished stone surface.

The golf club is less than 5 miles (8 kilometers) from Trump’s Mar-a-Lago estate. Trump attended Easter services at a nearby Episcopal church.

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