Northwestern Mutual

Long-term-care insurers steering through tough times

Most consumers shopping for long-term-care insurance worry about whether they're healthy enough to qualify for coverage -- and whether they can afford it. But the recent failure of two long-term-care insurers highlights a third concern: Will the insurer still be around when you make a claim, perhaps 20 or 30 years down the road?

Penn Treaty Network America Insurance, a long-term-care insurer based in Allentown, Pa., and its subsidiary, American Network Insurance, were placed in liquidation in March, leaving many of their 76,000 policyholders uncertain about whether they'll get all the benefits they paid for. Having initially underpriced their policies, the two companies now have...