When you are shopping for long-term care insurance you will find that there are a lot of policies to choose from. Generally speaking, most long-term care insurance policies include similar standard features. Most of the standard features that you will find in the policies that you look at are required by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners. In the next section, we will discuss the benefit choices you have.
Types of Policies
There are three main types of policies: Comprehensive, Nursing Home/Facility Only, and Home Care Only. Not all insurance carriers offer all three. Some insurance carriers have eliminated Nursing Home/Facility Only and Home Care Only policies in favor of just offering Comprehensive policies.
Most long-term care insurance policies offered today are "reimbursement" type contracts where benefits are paid only for expenses that are incurred, up to a pre-determined benefit amount. Indemnity contracts typically pay the entire pre-determined benefit on a daily or monthly basis.
The following types of care are standard features found in comprehensive long-term care insurance policies:
Nursing Home Facilities
Assisted Living Facilities (aka: Residential Care Facilities)
Adult Day Care
If you are in excellent health, or buying a policy as a married couple, discounts offered by some carriers can cut your premiums from 10-40%. Carriers use different methods to determine who qualifies for a preferred rate. Spousal discounts may be available as well. Some carriers will offer the discount to the insurable spouse, even if the other spouse is declined. Some carriers also offer discounts for multi-lives or employer-sponsored discounts.
Not only should you be researching and picking a policy that best fits your needs, you should look at the insurance carrier underwriting the policy. There are four major areas to look at when choosing a carrier.
Standard & Poors
LTC Companies represented by
Comfort Assurance Group agents:
MetLife (Servicing only)
Mutual of Omaha
United of Omaha
Prudential (Servicing only)
UNUM (Servicing only)
Not all companies/plans available in every state. Check with a properly licensed LTC agent.