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Illinois likes to chase residents away

State Journal Register

Sunday, April 15, 2018  |  Letter to Editor  |  Jack Hellner

Health Care

I am 65 years old. Five years ago I bought long-term care insurance policies for my wife and I from Northwestern Mutual in order to provide financial stability for ourselves and our children. I knew that they could raise rates when I bought the policies.

In March I got a letter from NML stating: Across most of the country we have requested rate increases ranging from 10 percent to 30 percent, which was determined by balancing the premium needed to support the expected benefits and the ability of our clients to manage the increases. The Illinois Department of Insurance required an increase that was roughly double and in some cases more than double the amount we requested.

NML is a company that started in 1867, and in 2017 it had $25.2 billion in surplus. The company has always paid its claims and there is little risk that they won’t.

Many of these middle-class and fixed-income policyholders might decide to drop the coverage and many might decide to strive to qualify for Medicaid. The state’s decision is very harmful.

Is it any wonder that Illinois is losing residents in droves when the government is so powerful that they can dictate to companies that they are required to double their requested rate increase?

I have not seen what my actual increase will be, but maybe I should send a thank you note to the Illinois DOI and to politicians for their efforts to make me pay much more than Northwestern Mutual wanted.

Jack Hellner

Springfield