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Bankers Life and Casualty Company Joins LifePlans, Inc. and the Department of Health and Human Services to Launch Fall Prevention Program Study For America's Seniors
Date:1/17/2008

CHICAGO, Jan. 17 /PRNewswire/ -- Bankers Life and Casualty Company has joined LifePlans, Inc. and the United States Department of Health and Human Services in implementing a study with senior Americans on fall prevention.

"Over thirty-percent of adults over age 65 fall each year, and falls are a leading cause of injury deaths and the most common cause of nonfatal injuries," said Scott Perry, president of Bankers, a health and life insurance company specializing in seniors. "The majority of falls - which are preventable - occur at home and are a chief contributor to nursing home admissions and long-term care claim costs. It's essential that America's seniors have the insight and knowledge to prevent falls."

With the retirement of the Baby Boomers, the cost for providing long-term care will be a major expense for American households, insurers, states and the federal government. The cost of all fall injuries for people age 65 or older is estimated to be near $36 billion in 2008, and is expected to reach $44 billion by 2020. Well-targeted fall prevention programs can have a significant impact on improving customer satisfaction through the maintenance of a safe environment and independent living, in addition to improving the financial performance of an insurer's block of business

The study, commencing in February 2008 and running two-to-four years, will include a sample of the insurer's long-term care policyholders. Participation will be voluntary. The program will assess the policyholder's fall risks and outline an action plan for the policyholder to follow. Periodic follow-ups and coordination with the policyholder's primary care physician will also be part of the program, and will enable evaluation for measuring the impact of the program.

LifePlans, which specializes in creating products and services for long- term care clients, spent three years researching and designing a model program with the Department of Health and Human Services, who will provide financial backing for the study. A nationally-recognized panel of experts consulted in the development of the program.

"We are happy to be working with both the public and private sector in an effort to help seniors remain living independently in their homes for as long as possible," said Dr. Marc Cohen, President of LifePlans, Inc. "So many falls are preventable, and to play a role in helping keep people safe is a real privilege. Bankers Life and Casualty's participation in this project underscores their on-going commitment to better the lives of seniors through insurance products and programs."

"This very important program could significantly impact the quality of life for our customers," said John Wells, Senior Vice President of Long-Term Care for Conseco, Inc., Bankers' parent company. "Preventing falls will allow them to remain where they want to be - in their homes - instead of entering a nursing facility. In addition, there is the potential for improving our block of long-term care business through claims management, which benefits our customers by helping to improve the stability of our long-term care policy premium rates."

Established in 1879 in Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses on the financial security needs of the mature market. The nationwide company, a subsidiary of Conseco, Inc., offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. Visit us online at http://www.bankers.com.

*Statistics on falls are from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's (CDC) National Center for Injury Prevention and Control web site.


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SOURCE Bankers Life and Casualty Company
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