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Special note

Some holders of CNA long-term care insurance policies have received a package detailing the terms of a settlement of a class-action suit that revolved around rate increases on CNA policies. The owners of those policies have been given four very confusing choices of how they can participate in the settlement. Since my own parents have those policies, I made a careful examination of the choices.

While the advice won't be the same for everyone, here's what I told them -- and it applies if you still are paying the higher premiums and want to keep the policy. These were very attractive policies, so I suggest that if you can afford the increased premiums, you continue to pay and keep the policy in force. In that case, take Option 1: the enhanced contingent nonforfeiture benefit. Basically, that means that if you can't afford the policy at some time in the future, you'll get coverage equal to at least 110 percent of the premiums you paid in over the years. And you'll get a free lifeline screening.

The other options are explained in the documentation, and I suggest you read them carefully. They offer a policy of lesser quality, or a lowering of your policy benefits. In any case, be sure to mail the form by April 5 to join in this class-action settlement.

Terry Savage

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