Thursday, August 28, 2003

CHICAGO (August 28, 2003) - In pursuit of its goal to field the most fully trained sales force in the senior financial market, Bankers Life and Casualty Company will conduct 40 in-depth training sessions hosted by the woman who literally wrote the book on long term care, Phyllis Shelton.

Shelton is the best-selling author of Long Term Care: Your Financial Planning Guide, which is widely considered to be the bible of its field. She is also the founder of Nashville, Tenn.-based LTC Consultants, which provides product consulting and education to insurance companies, banks and brokers worldwide and will conduct the sessions for Bankers at selected sites across the United States.

Shelton's detailed knowledge and experience will help Bankers in its ongoing commitment to excellence in serving the senior financial and insurance markets. Besides LTC training, Bankers has instituted a requirement that agents achieve the Certified Senior Advisor (CSA) certification within the first 18 months of their hiring. Home office employees are also taking the CSA training in significant numbers. Bankers Vice President of Training Mark Demich estimates that the company will have about one thousand agents and about 60 home office employees with the CSA designation in 2004.

"We Specialize in Seniors is more than just Bankers' tagline," explained Scott Perry, senior vice president of sales for Bankers. "It is a commitment to know more and think harder about the challenges facing today's senior."

One of these challenges is planning for a long term illness. According to a recent report by the Health Insurance Association of America, more than 40 percent of Americans over 65 will spend some time in a nursing home. Those costs can top $50,000 per year.

"A long term illness is something that can truly devastate a family," said Perry. "As senior specialists, we must clearly explain risks, debunk myths and help match our clients with the solutions that are right for their individual needs. Phyllis' unparalleled expertise will help improve our ability to do these important things."

Established in 1879 and headquartered at the historic Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago, Bankers Life and Casualty Company focuses exclusively on the financial security needs of seniors. The company offers a broad portfolio of health and life insurance and retirement savings products designed especially for seniors. These products are distributed through a national network of professionally trained company agents. Visit us online at www.bankers.com.

Contact: Linda Heacox