NEW YORK – Life insurance firms used to pitch long-term care policies as the prudent way for Americans to shoulder the cost of staying in nursing homes. But those same companies have found that long-term-care policies are squeezing their profits and have scaled back their business.
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Here's a look at what some of the biggest insurers in the business are doing:
Genworth Financial: Still offers new policies. Reported its second consecutive quarterly loss, including a $478 million charge tied to long-term care insurance. The company's stock has lost more than half its market value over the past year.
Northwestern Mutual: Sells long-term care policies. Not a publicly traded company. Carries top credit rating from Moody's Investors Service.
MetLife Insurance: Once one of the larger players in the business, but it began pulling out four years ago. Last week, the Connecticut Insurance Department rejected its requests to raise premiums on policies between 25 and 100 percent but approved increases of 10 percent.
Unum Group: Another top provider of long-term care insurance that stopped selling new policies. Set aside more money to cover future claims in the fourth quarter, resulting in a $454 million hit to profits.