Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Long term care companies screen for anti-selection

Today, I underwent (or was “subjected to”) a 45-minute telephone interview with a nurse from an insurance company for a possible single-premium long term care policy.

Besides detailed, and sometimes repeated, questions (mostly Y/N) on medical history, there were memory exercises. The applicant is told not to write anything down during the interview (to cheat on the memory test).

The applicant is asked again at the end of the interview if he or she did “cheat”. 

The memory test comprises a list of ten words. A few times during the interview the applicant is asked to repeat as many words as possible.  During my mother’s care, a neurologist told me that most people have trouble remembering more than seven items at a time without cribbing, and I was able to do seven or eight at a time.  (If you got everything "right", that might suggest cheating.)  The applicant is also given triplets of objects, and asked which is different from the other three, and then at the end asked to enumerate as many of these objects as possible.  The applicant is also given a T/F test on whether a specific word was on the list.  That’s easier to get almost right. 

It’s easier to remember words that have some special significance. 

I wasn't asked a lot of detailed questions about medical monitoring. I wasn't asked to do an EKG stress test, or colonoscopy, for example. I was asked about daily activities, including housekeeping.

1 comment:

retirement planning said...

We are certainly surprised to learn that there is a memory test. If the objects to remember are largely unrelated, it would be hard to repeat back the items in sequence. We sure would keep that in mind before we asked for a long term care policy.