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Top 10 Highest Ranked Long-Term Care Insurance For 2019

With individuals consistently living longer and longer lives, the value of long-term care is steadily increasing. According to AARP, some 52% of individuals who are 65 years of age or older require some form of long-term care services – women on average, spend two and a half years in care, while men spend one and a half years. Insurance for this type of care is highly sought after by many individuals to help address their specific needs, but the sad truth is that many long-term care policies are lengthy – 40 to 50 pages is typical, they are confusing with heavy legal terminology and complex messaging, and the conditions in them can be misleading and unclear. We looked at several different companies who provide excellent long-term care insurance, and how they meet the needs of seniors. This guide breaks down 10 specific providers and their coverage products, and it wraps up by providing information on how long-term care policies function and why they are beneficial for seniors to have.

 

  • Mutual of Omaha – This huge company operates in the long-term care insurance industry, it offers a policy named MutualCare Secure Solution, and it’s quick and easy to get online rate estimates.

  • Transamerica – The TransCare III policy provides the means for configurations to be done –  which is common with other insurers as well.

  • MassMutual – The new SignatureCare 600 policy still has some question marks surrounding it, but the SignatureCare 500 is offered as a base version and also as a comprehensive version.

  • Genworth – The Privileged Choice Flex 3 plan has an informal care rider that can help seniors to stretch out their money a long way.

  • John Hancock – John Hancock is the insurer for the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program and provides an unlimited benefit period option.

  • New York Life – The NYL My Care policy is put together much like how traditional health insurance is with deductibles and coinsurance.

  • Fidelity – If you buy this provider’s offering you’re in fact purchasing a MassMutual life insurance policy with a long-term care rider.

  • MetLife – Spinoff of MetLife – Brighthouse Financial currently manages long-term care insurance through their hybrid policy, Brighthouse SmartCare.

  • USAA – USAA does not have an exclusive policy, turning to Genworth and John Hancock to provide long-term care insurance for interested members.

  • Mutual of Omaha – Mutual of Omaha is one of the biggest providers of long-term care insurance, and its product offering is named MutualCare Secure Solution. The policy provides a nice selection of optional benefits so that lots of configuring can be done.

How We Chose Our Top List

Formulating our top 10 list of elite long-term care insurance providers for seniors was a challenging and rewarding experience. We looked at a few factors including plans and pricing, discounts available, standard benefits and optional add-ons, overall value, and other elements which matter to seniors. We took all of this information and compiled it in a succinct way so that it’s easy to read and digest, and we hope our efforts lead to a more educated decision for you in the end – or at least help to establish a provider short-list to research further. Quality insurance for long-term care can make a huge difference and positively impact a senior’s life, it’s just a matter of finding the right product fit at the right time. 

12 Companies Examined 

2 Experts Consulted

10 Companies Selected

 

19 Hours of Research

1. Mutual of Omaha

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Mutual of Omaha is one of the market leaders in the long-term care insurance industry, and its product is named MutualCare Secure Solution. For those who like to configure their policy to meet specific needs, will like to know that this company’s policy offers numerous optional benefits which can be added. 

Pros
  • There’s a 30% savings if you and your partner are issued under the same policy form, a 15% discount if you’re married but your partner doesn’t purchase a policy, and a 15% price break for being in good health

  • There’s an option to select a cash benefit instead of reimbursement

  • Standard benefits include waiver of premium – you don’t need to pay your premium while receiving long-term care services, home health care, facility care, care coordination, respite care, hospice care, international benefit for up to 12 months, and alternate care – services that don’t exist today may be covered at some point in the future if recommended by your care coordinator 

  • Optional benefits available are inflation protection, shared care, security benefit, return of premium, and waiver of elimination period for home health care benefits

  • Can choose among monthly maximum benefit amounts ranging from $1,500 to $10,000

Cons
  • There are 90, 180, or 365 calendar-day elimination periods – unless you receive cash benefits or opt for the waiver of elimination period for home health care benefits

  • As with practically every long-term care insurer – benefits won’t be paid if you require care resulting from self-inflicted injuries, or if you need care as a result of alcohol or drug abuse

  • The policy doesn’t cover doctor charges, lab charges, prescriptions, transportation, or personal expenses

Pricing

By going to Mutual of Omaha’s website, you can get an estimated cost for your policy – simply input your age, gender, marital status, and ZIP code. Other information that they require is the monthly benefit amount you want the policy to pay and pertaining to married couples – specify if your partner is interested in coverage as well. 

Looking at an example – let’s use the profile of a single female who’s 55 years of age, and lives in Washington state’s 98926 ZIP Code. Premium estimates shape out this way – $87 per month for a future $1,500 monthly benefit, $146 monthly for a future $2,500 monthly benefit, and $204 on a monthly basis for a future $3,500 monthly benefit. 

Note that no matter what insurer you ultimately decide to go with, premium payments are less the younger in age you are when first signing up for a policy. 

The Bottom Line

If you are focused on getting a good amount of coverage in your long-term care insurance policy, then the optional riders from Mutual of Omaha can provide you with a solution that’s right for you and at a market competitive rate. The company sells many policies which just have the standard benefits and no add-ons, so don’t feel pressured to pick up optional benefits if they don’t resonate with you and your needs. Committing to a policy can be a daunting task – we get it, just ensure that you understand what your coverage includes and what it doesn’t before finalizing it. Entertaining quotes from other companies will help you to feel good about selecting a policy that offers good coverage value. 

 

2. Transamerica

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

Transamerica has a long-term care policy offered, and it’s named TransCare III. It is equipped with several standard benefits and has a few optional riders which can be tacked onto a policy. The setup is relatively similar to our previously featured provider, Mutual of Omaha, except if you want an online estimate, you will be left disappointed as one doesn’t exist. 

Pros 
  • Standard benefits include cash, remain at home, home care, respite care, adult daycare, long term care facility, waiver of premium – in cases such as long-term care facility after the elimination period, three-year rate guarantee, return of premium upon death before the age of 67, accident, alternate plan of care with coordinator approval, and hospice care

  • Optional riders available are various benefit increase options to keep pace with inflation, shared care, monthly benefit – for charges exceeding maximum daily benefits, elimination period credit, joint waiver of premium, return of premium upon death, nonforfeiture, and a one-time full restoration of benefits

  • Elimination periods of 0, 30, 60, 90, 180, or 365 days

  • A couples price break can be up to 30%, a 15% savings if married but the other partner isn’t applying, or a 10% preferred health discount

  • The pool of money ranges anywhere from $18,250 to $1,095,000, and the maximum daily benefit ranges from $50 to $500 – by paying more in premiums, you get a greater pool of money and a higher maximum daily benefit

Cons
  • California residents experience especially high rates

  • The shared care option may not be as generous for married couples, as some other providers offer better discounts 

Pricing

In order to get the pricing information, you will need to speak with a company agent as Transamerica doesn’t offer an online estimator. Premiums for long-term care insurance are much higher for women as opposed to men – since the average female lives a few years longer than the average male. 

Thanks to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance organization – they provide three TransCare III pricing estimates. A married couple who are aged 60 and 61, and who each want a benefit amount of $162,000 would pay an annual premium of $2,242. Examining a single male who’s 57 years of age would pay $989 per year, and a single female who’s also 57 years old would pay $1,507 annually – or $518 more than the male. 

The Bottom Line

The ability to pick up reasonably priced policies and add options makes Transamerica a decent provider for long-term care insurance. Even though you can’t get an online estimate for yourself and/or your spouse – by using the above estimates you can get a ballpark idea for how much you may have to spend annually on a policy. 

 

3. MassMutual

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

MassMutual was known for keeping their long-term care premium down for many years, but then in 2018 were granted permission to raise them as high as 77% – leaving many customers angry and in a negative financial situation. MassMutual offers the SignatureCare 500 policy and some states have been given the opportunity to purchase the SignatureCare 600 policy. We are mostly focused on the 500 policy here though as that’s what the majority of the country is limited to. 

The standalone long-term care 500 product has two versions – the base and comprehensive. The base policy takes care of facility services such as assisted living, for example. The comprehensive policy goes beyond that of the base policy to also cover home care as well. 

The company also provides the means to combine the long-term care with a life insurance policy – ideal for individuals of great wealth and who want to preserve it for heirs if long-term care doesn’t turn out to be required. 

Pros
  • Standard benefits which are offered through the comprehensive policy include a premium waiver, community-based services, caregiver training, ambulance services, emergency response, respite care, alternative plan of care, and some coverage outside of the United States does exist as well 

  • Optional riders available – inflation protection, shared care, waiver of premium for a covered partner, paid-up survivor benefit, home and community-based services elimination of period, home and community-based services monthly benefit, and enhanced elimination period

  • Once the initial elimination period is satisfied, then no future period is required – if inside the United States

  • Benefit periods of two, three, four, five, or six years

  • A 30% partner discount is offered if both people in a couple get insured, a 15% savings comes if one person in a married couple gets insured, or a 5% discount on long-term care insurance premiums each year if you have life insurance, disability insurance, or an annuity contract from MassMutual

Cons
  • Elimination periods of 30, 60, 90, or 180 days – although there’s a rider available to waive the period for home and community-based services

  • No reimbursement is provided for care provided by family and friends

  • Pricing information via the company’s website is limited in scope 

  • You must speak with a MassMutual advisor to get information that is relevant to your particular situation

Pricing

MassMutual prefers that policyholders pay premiums either annually or bi-annually, and a charge is issued if the monthly or quarterly payment option is selected. Although they are never guaranteed, dividends can start to be earned after a waiting period of 11 years has occurred – helping to reduce premium amounts and expanding the pool of benefits. Daily benefits for care range from $50 to $400 per day and increase in $10 increments. 

The Bottom Line

By using MassMutual’s six-year period option, it allows an individual to be covered for as long as possible. The company also has some decent rider options available including the ability to restore benefits, and they can be restored more than one time as long as the total benefit amount isn’t depleted. 

It’s worth looking into the enhanced elimination period rider as saving money in the long-term is possible – as an example, using services just one day in a seven-day period gets the full week counted towards the elimination period. This rider can be especially helpful if paying for services during the elimination period concerns you.

4. Genworth

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Genworth is in the mix as a long-term care insurance provider with its Privileged Choice Flex 3 plan that is offered with a good number of options available to add on. There’s a calculator available on the company’s website to help give you a decent idea of what you can expect to pay in premiums. Other tools that can be found on the website, include data for the cost of long-term care in your local area, and information on trends.

Pros
  • Benefit multipliers are for two, three, four, or five years

  • An informal care rider is geared towards family caregivers for up to half your maximum benefit – you could get more than twice as much care for the same amount of money with family members charging $10 per hour, versus agency workers who bill at $22 hourly

  • Options include shared care, joint waiver of premium, waiver of premium, increased coverage, and multiple inflation protection choices

  • The monthly range is $1,500 to $9,300, and the daily range is $50 to $300

  • Standard benefits include caregiver training, home modifications, home assistance, respite care, hospice care, refund of premium up to age 65, bed reservation, international coverage, late payment protection, and protection against lapse due to impairment

Cons
  • No coverage if your needs stem from a self-inflicted injury, from alcohol or drug abuse, or from an act of war – but these are typically standard conditions which exist in most provider’s long-term care insurance policies 

Pricing

Pricing for the company’s long-term care insurance is unique to each individual’s situation based on age when the policy is purchased, the duration desired for care coverage, marital status, the elimination period, and the maximum dollar amount to be reimbursed for. Genworth’s premium calculator is a useful tool to play around with to see how costs change based on various scenarios – for example, the rates for x number of years of care and factoring in other options. 

 

We went ahead and tried out a few different situations to see how costs differ – A single female who’s 55 years old, based in Washington state with a $125 daily maximum and a three-year multiplier pays $1,487.81 a year in premiums. Fast forward 10 years for this same type of woman when 65 years old and the annual premium costs rise almost $1,000 to $2,450.51. If the 55-year-old woman wanted a $200 daily maximum instead, then she would pay $2,380.50 per year, whereas the 65-year-old woman would pay $3,920.81 every 365 days for the same daily maximum. Note that these premiums are based on a plan with a 90-day elimination period, 100% home and community care coverage, and 100% assisted living facility coverage, the costs don’t include inflation protection or any other riders.

 

The Bottom Line

If you have some loving and caring family members who would take care of you in-home for half the cost or so of an agency worker, then Genworth would potentially be a great fit for your insurance needs. Most other providers don’t offer coverage such as this, so Genworth has certainly found a niche customer-base for its long-term care insurance product. 

Shared care with guaranteed minimum additional benefits and join waiver of premium are available for married couples – these types of riders may interest them to gain up to 25% more benefits. If your spouse OR yourself require long-term care, then not having to pay premiums is a nice element. 

5. John Hancock

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

John Hancock is the insurer for the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program, and doesn’t currently offer policies to individuals and hasn’t for a few years now. In order to qualify for a policy, you have to either work for the federal government or the U.S. postal service or if you have a relative who does, then there are certain criteria that you must meet to be eligible. More information regarding this John Hancock eligibility topic is available on page two of this book.

Details of your plan are available online if you have previously picked up a policy from the company, and customer support representatives can also assist you with managing your plan. 

Pros
  • The benefit period available is unlimited 

  • Informal care is covered for up to 500 days if performed by relatives, or if done by non-family members, it’s for the benefit period that you selected

  • You can maintain your coverage even if you leave from federal government employment

  • Waiver of premium is nice, and you need to satisfy the 90-calendar-day waiting period just one time in your life

  • Features include an alternate plan of care if approved by coordinators, international benefits, bed reservations, respite care, no war exclusion, and multiple inflation protection options

Cons
  • No John Hancock insurance is available for new policyholders unless it comes through the federal program

  • Recent premium increases dramatically affected some policyholders 

  • No shared care option is available

Pricing

Eight daily benefit amounts range from $100 to $450 from John Hancock, and the company recommends that if you want to keep your premium costs fairly low and don’t mind paying for some care costs out of pocket, then a two-year benefit period may be ideal, but three-year, five-year, and unlimited periods are also options to consider. 

There are four pre-packaged plans available to keep things simple – Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D. Each of these plans have various inflation protection options baked in, along with a 90-calendar-day waiting period, and configuring a plan can be done if these four plans don’t suit your needs. 

Premiums are lowest under Plan A – giving you a daily benefit of $150 for two years, and a maximum lifetime benefit is set at $109,500. Costs for Plan A for a new enrollee who’s 55 years of age are $101.62, $133.09, or $43.13 on a monthly basis depending on which inflation protection options are selected. For someone who’s 65 years old, they would pay $173.37, $208.79, or $85.62 monthly, depending again on the inflation protection options chosen. 

Examining Plan D – offers a $200 daily benefit amount for five years, and the maximum lifetime benefit can be $365,000. An individual who’s 55 years of age monthly would pay $274.88, $371.63 or $104.41. Someone who’s 65 years old would be billed at $441.27, $545.56 or $231.09 per month. All of these rates are dependent on the variables of inflation protection, and the pricing is fairly market competitive from what we’ve seen from other providers.   

The Bottom Line

If you are someone who’s single and eligible for a John Hancock plan, then we advise you to very strongly consider a policy from the company. Only after comparing some price points from other providers should you move ahead with a policy from John Hancock though, assuming you like their value proposition the best. Unlimited benefit periods are very hard to find from other providers, so John Hancock stands out from this perspective. 

The four standard plans make it easy to select one because comparing one to the other can be effectively done. A couple of nice and unique features include informal care, and 80% coverage for international care is appealing to seniors who will be outside of the United States at times. 

Those who are married may still find this insurer to be ideal, but the lack of a shared-care option is off-putting for many couples, although previously mentioned informal care and international care may be enough value to offset the non-existent shared-care element. 

6. New York Life

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Within the last three years, New York Life has launched two products to address long-term care needs for seniors – NYL Secure Care and NYL My Care. The company also offers a life insurance product that combines these two offerings for more comprehensive coverage. 

NYL My Care has simple to understand messaging in it – something that many seniors will like about the company. NYL My Care has a one-time deductible, and resources are drawn from a pool of money versus over set time periods such as two or five years, for example. Monthly maximum benefits are still in effect though, and the monthly reimbursement rate is 80% – this product is essentially designed much the same as traditional long-term care insurance is. 

New York Life is structured to be a mutual insurer and after 11 years, a nice benefit of dividends can come. After 20 to 30 years, these dividends can actually help to completely or mostly cover out of pocket premium costs. 

Pros
  • 25% as a first-year discount for couples and a 10% discount is provided for one person in a marriage who gets insurance

  • Four packages are available in NYL My Care – bronze, silver, gold, and platinum, and each of these packages can be configured to meet specific needs

  • Policy riders include inflation protection, waiver of premium, legacy benefit, shared care, and other tangible benefits

  • There are reimbursement options for family and friends who provide in-home care

Cons
  • 20% “coinsurance” under NYL My Care means taking a risk on expenses, and perhaps doing some financial planning activities as well 

Pricing

New York Life has provided some pricing quotes for its four different NYL My Care programs – using a 55-year-old married male as an example, for bronze he would pay $24.93 as a monthly premium, silver comes in at $49.86, gold is $84.65, and platinum is billed at $119.45 per month. Each of these figures includes the 25% partner’s discount, and inflation protection isn’t included.  

The Bottom Line

NYL My Care offers simplified long-term care insurance programs that most seniors can easily comprehend, making purchasing a product less concerning than other more complex programs from other providers. The 20% coinsurance aspect that needs to be paid while receiving care, may be frustrating for some seniors to get behind and accept. The ability to not get caught off guard by NYL Secure Care’s conditions, and having financial peace of mind will interest a good number of seniors. 

 

7. Fidelity

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Fidelity offers long-term care insurance but it actually comes from MassMutual’s CareChoice One product. It’s a single-premium whole life insurance policy with a long-term care rider and it’s not as strong in terms of policy coverage that Lincoln Moneyguard II or State Life Asset Care provides. 

Pros
  • Some of your savings can be used for four years worth of care – provided you’re 35 to 69 years old or up to 65 years of age for tobacco users

  • Your heirs will receive a death benefit if you never require long-term care

  • Dividends can potentially extend the four-year life of your benefit to as long as five years

  • The premium is paid just once, so there’s no need to stress out about getting a premium paid every month or every year

Cons
  • You must have a minimum of $25,000 to pay the one-time premium

  • There’s a 90-day elimination period

  • Inflation protection claim is misleading—you don’t get much protection compared with some other hybrid policies

  • Fidelity may push the plan too hard and misleadingly onto some clients

Pricing

As previously mentioned, a minimum of $25,000 must be invested into a policy premium, and the more money that is paid into it, the more money that’s available down the road. Let’s take a look at an example, if a 60-year-old female puts $100,000 in – $66K for the whole life portion and $33K for the long-term care rider then the initial death benefit is $133,997, and this lady also has a maximum monthly long-term care benefit of $5,583.21 that’s available for 48 months or four years.

Canceling a policy can be done after already signing up, and you would receive the surrender value, which might be less than the actual cash value. Loans can also be taken out to provide some liquidity by leveraging the policy’s value. 

The Bottom Line

If you have a good chunk of money that you are looking to put to work to ensure financial strength for your future, then paying for whole life insurance with a long-term care rider may be an excellent fit for your situation. For parents who are in their mid-30s or 40s, and who have a large sum of money to invest, can get lots of value longer-term by going this route. By doing this, some of your wealth can be protected, and care if needed down the road, is already prepaid and offers more benefits for making the investment many years earlier. An estate planning attorney should be consulted with prior to making any big decisions, as they can run some numbers to see if it makes sense for your particular situation. 

Many other whole life and long-term care insurance policies from other providers are generally looked at more favorably than the one from MassMutual’s CareChoice One via Fidelity, so other whole life products should be looked into to determine the right fit. Better inflation protection, a zero-day elimination period, and a six-year benefit period are offered by other providers such as Lincoln Moneyguard II, and that might make for a better provider option than Fidelity. 

8. MetLife

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

MetLife is the parent company of Brighthouse Financial – who is the long-term care insurance business arm of the organization. Individuals who purchased their policy from MetLife though before Brighthouse Financial was formed, still have the ability to get support from the parent company itself. 

A standalone long-term care insurance option isn’t offered by Brighthouse Financial, they have instead combined an indexed universal life policy with benefits to cover long-term care costs – a hybrid policy of sorts, offered by the company. 

Pros
  • Multi-pay plans where you can pay your premium just one time over a period as long as five years

  • Monthly benefit payments may be greater than your actual care expenses – leaving more money left over to cover personal expenses 

  • Options include indexed long-term care, fixed-growth, and level

  • Care payout periods range from four to six years

  • Available for clients who are 40 to 75 years old, and policies have face values of up to $1 million

Cons
  • Have a 90-day elimination period

Pricing

To get an idea on pricing, just go to this page and click on “Get Started” to examine many different cost scenarios. Let’s look at a 60-year-old female who doesn’t smoke, chooses indexed growth, a four-year long-term care benefit period, and wants to pay $100,000 for the policy in one lump sum. When she reaches 80 years of age she would be rewarded with a long-term care benefit of $10,074 per month, which works out to $120,889 annually. This model, however, states that she wouldn’t get any benefits once she turns 85 years old. By clicking on “Download Basic Illustration” though, it shows that payments are still available at age 85 and beyond, so it’s wise to ask questions before committing to any kind of insurance product so everything can be made clear from the beginning, and there are no surprises when it’s time to start being compensated. 

Policies which are of the indexed growth nature are linked to major stock market indices, and on any policy anniversary, the benefit amount can be locked in. Indexed growth may appear to be risky at first glance, but looking at stock market trends historically signals that this particular investment is actually quite safe. 

The Bottom Line

Unless you have several thousands of dollars available to be able to afford a long-term care insurance product such as this, then move on to another product with more flexible payment options over time. Be sure to look at at least a handful of life insurance and long-term care providers to understand the benefits and pricing structure, prior to making any kind of commitment. 

 

9. USAA

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

Buying an insurance product from USAA is available to active and former military individuals and their eligible family members, cadets, and midshipmen. The company offers competitive rates for a few different insurance policies including car, home, and health. Long-term care insurance is also available to purchase from the company, but it’s actually the companies John Hancock and Genworth that issue the products. 

Pros
  • A USAA membership is complimentary if you’re eligible, and it comes packaged with perks such as deals on travel experiences, for example

  • You may prefer going through USAA if you already use the organization for other financial needs such as checking and savings accounts, stocks, and health or auto insurance

Cons
  • Eligibility for USAA membership is quite limited for access 

  • Information on long-term care products is available through the phone only, with their customer service lines closed on weekends. For initial research though, go see the Genworth and John Hancock Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program products on those two respective websites

  • The USAA product is not exclusive – it comes from two other public providers 

Pricing

Please refer to earlier sections in this guide for Genworth and John Hancock for pricing information, and other information.

The Bottom Line

Current USAA members may be disappointed that there are no exclusive long-term care insurance products available, and actually, are just brought in from John Hancock and Genworth. Both companies are excellent providers though for this type of insurance, and going through USAA may be ideal to get a product. 

 

10. Mutual of Omaha

Ease of Use

Excellent

Service & Response

Excellent

Features & Tech

Excellent

Pricing

Excellent

 

When you think about long-term care insurance companies, then Mutual of Omaha should certainly come to mind with their sheer impact within the industry – they are one of the largest providers. The company’s policy has lots of room for adding options to configure it to your liking. 

Pros
  • Some nice discounts are on the table – 30% off if both you and your partner are included under the same policy form, 15% off if you’re married but your partner doesn’t purchase a policy, and 15% off is given for being in good health

  • There’s the option to enjoy a cash benefit instead of reimbursement

  • Standard benefits include waiver of premium – you don’t need to pay your premium while receiving long-term care services, home health care, facility care, care coordination, respite care, hospice care, international benefit for up to 12 months, and alternate care – services which don’t exist today may be covered in the future if recommended by your care coordinator 

  • Optional benefits include inflation protection, shared care, security benefit, return of premium, and waiver of elimination period for home health care benefits

  • Can choose between monthly maximum benefit amounts from as low as $1,500 to as high as $10,000

Cons
  • There are 90, 180, or 365 calendar-day elimination periods – unless you receive cash benefits or opt for the waiver of elimination period for home health care benefits

  • As with most every long-term care insurer – benefits won’t be paid if you require care resulting from self-inflicted injuries, or if you need care as a result of alcohol or drug abuse

  • The policy doesn’t cover doctor’s charges, lab charges, prescriptions, transportation, or personal expenses

Pricing

By heading over to Mutual of Omaha’s website, you can get estimates for the cost of a policy – provide your age, gender, marital status, and ZIP code to cover off the personal information portion of the form. Then you offer up the monthly benefit amount that you want the policy to pay you, and if you’re married, specify if your spouse is interested in also getting coverage as well. 

Outlining an example – let’s say that you’re a single female who’s 55 years of age, living in Washington state in the 98926 ZIP code. What results are the following premium estimates per month – $87 for a $1,500 monthly benefit in the future, $146 for $2,500 in monthly coverage down the road, and finally $204 to receive a $3,500 monthly payout if needed in the future. 

Note that the younger you are when you buy a long-term care insurance policy, the less you will pay in premiums for any given insurer. 

The Bottom Line

Mutual of Omaha is a solid provider to look at if you are after optional riders on your policy for custom coverage, and the pricing is competitive with other companies. Even if you don’t want any of the optional riders, the company’s standard policy is fairly well priced. 

 

No matter which provider you end up with in the end, ensure that you did your proper due diligence by closely looking at several options to examine the benefits, options, and pricing. Doing this will give you peace of mind when it’s time to make a final educated decision, and you can be confident that based on your profile and status, you made a good deal to secure your health’s long-term future.

How Does Long-Term Care Insurance Work?

 

It can’t be overstated that if you know you want to buy some long-term care insurance, then get it in your earlier years to save on premium costs. So if you know in your 50s that you will want a policy to have in your back pocket, then pick one up then versus waiting until you’re in your 70s to reap more benefits and cost savings. A longer period of paying premiums that are lower is still, on average, going to be less than paying much higher premiums for a shorter period of time. 

The process typically works like this:

  1. A licensed health care practitioner, usually a nurse, teams up with a social worker to certify that you are chronically ill – referred to as a benefit trigger. Together, they recommend long-term care services and submit a plan for care. In the majority of cases, you must need assistance with at least two activities for properly daily living, or have a cognitive impairment. 

  2. Then wait out the elimination period for benefits to start to kick in – your policy specifies the length, and it is typically 30, 60, or 90 days. At times there is no elimination period, but when there is one, you are responsible for paying the cost of the services you receive. Be sure to see what your policy states, because some mandate that you must receive paid services during this time, and you can’t simply wait out the elimination period and receive unpaid care.

  3. Next, you begin to receive benefits – most policies pay up to a pre-set daily amount, while other policies pay a cash amount for each day you meet the benefit trigger, regardless of whether you received services or not. The cash policies, in particular, have more flexibility, but also cost more to purchase. 

  4. The insurance policy continues to cover your care until the maximum policy limit is reached.

Some states have partnership programs with benefits such as inflation protection and asset disregard. Asset disregard lets you retain more assets above the $2,000 Medicaid limit if you need Medicaid after your long-term care policy has been used up.

 

You’re generally not expected to pay premiums while you receive long-term care, but it’s advised to double-check for where your policy lies on this topic before signing anything.

What Types of Care Does Long-Term Care Insurance Pay For?

Long-term care insurance helps policyholders pay for certain services related to the activities of daily living – things such as bathing, getting dressed, eating, going to the washroom, and continence and transferring. If you’re no longer able to do at least two of these specific activities or have some sort of cognitive impairment, then long-term care insurance may be helpful.

Seniors can receive assistance in various locations such as in their homes, hospice care, adult daycare, respite care, assisted living facilities, nursing homes, and special care facilities – for conditions such as Alzheimer’s, for example. If you receive care in your own home, then the policy usually covers personal care including bathing, getting dressed, going to the washroom, occupational, speech, rehabilitation or physical therapy, and skilled nursing care.

Some policies do cover informal care that is offered by friends and family members, while others don’t include this luxury, and the vast majority do provide some level of caregiver training.

Why is Long-Term Care Insurance Important for Seniors?

Standalone, conventional long-term care insurance is critical for numerous reasons. For starters, it can be essential for many married couples who want to ensure that one spouse can live adequately if the other has to go into a nursing home. Otherwise, bills from the nursing home could quickly diminish the spouse’s savings, leaving one or the other in a dire financial situation with 10 or 20 years of life left. Secondly, it’s a way for individuals and couples to protect some assets to pass onto heirs. Thirdly, long-term care insurance minimizes the amount of money that senior’s children and other family members need to spend on their care. It’s a proactive measure that many seniors do in order to make life easier on their families.

 

Experts in the industry generally recommend looking into long-term care insurance if your non-home and non-car assets range in value from roughly $150,000 to $700,000. Below that window, Medicaid may be the better option, even paying for a spouse who needs long-term care without draining the healthy spouse’s resources.

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