Top Long-Term Care Insurance Picks for 2024

The annual review by LTC News is here: 2024's best picks for Long-Term Care Insurance Solutions, including hybrid and short-term cash indemnity policies. There is a wide variety of policy options and types, from the very affordable to the very expensive. This review is an excellent first step in your retirement planning.

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Top Long-Term Care Insurance Picks for 2024
25 Min Read January 15th, 2024 Updated:January 17th, 2024

As we progress into 2024, LTC News continues its annual tradition of evaluating the best strategies for managing the complexities and rising costs of long-term care, aging, and declining health. The insurance industry has responded to this growing need by offering a diverse range of products, including traditional Long-Term Care Insurance and innovative, affordable alternatives. These solutions are designed to provide policyholders with guaranteed tax-free resources for quality care.

With an increasing number of individuals exploring Long-Term Care Insurance options, obtaining precise and relevant information is crucial. Understanding which policy type and insurance company best aligns with your unique needs and financial and family situation is essential.

This year's roundup offers a comprehensive look at the leading choices in traditional Long-Term Care Insurance, asset-based hybrid policies, and short-term cash indemnity plans. 

Why is Long-Term Care Planning Important?

Traditional health insurance policies, including Medicare and its supplements, provide limited coverage for skilled care services and nothing toward custodial care. Most individuals eventually require some form of custodial care — assistance with daily activities due to chronic illnesses, mobility issues, or general frailty. This type of care is vital for receiving help with everyday tasks such as dressing, bathing, toileting, and eating. Plus, an increasing number of people living with dementia require supervision. Unfortunately, these long-term custodial care needs are not covered by standard health insurance policies or Medicare (including supplements,) leaving individuals and their families to shoulder the physical, emotional, and financial burden.

Long-Term Care Insurance will pay benefits for all types of long-term care in any setting, reducing the financial burden and easing the stress and anxiety otherwise placed on family members. As long-term care costs continue to rise sharply, the impact on families and finances can significantly alter lifestyle and legacy, in addition to creating a burden on loved ones. 

Long-term care costs are rising, but the costs depend on where you live and the type of service you require. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator is a great tool to find the current and future cost of care services where you live -- or where you plan on living in the future.

Insurance Options - Which Company is Best?

Each year, our team interviews some of the nation's leading experts to compile our rankings of the top choices for Long-Term Care Insurance in 2024.

First, it should be reassuring that Long-Term Care Insurance is subject to regulation by both the federal government and individual states. Consumer protections, tax incentives, and uniform benefit triggers are included in Tax-Qualified Long-Term Care Insurance that complies with Section 7702(b) of the U.S. Code, giving policyholders and their families peace of mind. These regulations provide policyholders and their families peace of mind that strong regulations protect them.

It's also important to recognize that Long-Term Care Insurance involves medical underwriting, meaning applicants must be in reasonably good health to secure coverage. However, the underwriting criteria can vary from one insurance company to another. Additionally, the cost of insurance premiums can vary significantly among insurers, sometimes differing considerably for the same benefits.

While there are more similarities than differences among insurance companies offering Long-Term Care Insurance, it's essential to understand that some options may be more advantageous than others. 

LTC NEWS has diligently reviewed the top companies offering this coverage, including both 'traditional' Long-Term Care Insurance policies and asset-based (hybrid) plans that combine life insurance or annuities with qualified Long-Term Care Insurance benefits. Our review also encompasses short-term cash indemnity policies for comprehensive coverage evaluation.

Top Three Picks for 2024

#1. Mutual of Omaha

Once again, in 2024, Mutual of Omaha maintains its status as the premier choice for traditional Long-Term Care Insurance. Offering competitive pricing, Mutual of Omaha encompasses the features and benefits recommended by most experts. As one of the nation's most esteemed insurance companies, Mutual of Omaha's robust financial standing and stellar reputation solidifies its position as the foremost option to consider.

For many years, the company has held the position of industry leader in long-term care. Mutual of Omaha, a mutual insurance company, boasts an A+ Superior rating from A.M. Best and garners exceptional ratings from all the major rating agencies for its financial strength.

Mutual of Omaha offers two similar LTC Insurance products: MutualCare Custom Solution and MutualCare Secure Solution. However, the majority of Long-Term Care Insurance experts favor MutualCare Custom Solution.

MutualCare Custom Solution provides a broader array of features and choices that can be easily tailored to your budget. Custom Solution has many more inflation options than MutualCare Secure Solution, allowing you to easily custom design a policy based on your needs and budget.

Arguably, one of the most crucial features available with MutualCare Custom Solution is the "inflation buy-up" option. Policyholders have the opportunity to increase their inflation benefits in the future, a benefit available until the age of 74 (or for 20 years - whichever comes first) without the need to provide evidence of insurability. Given that most people purchasing LTC Insurance are typically in their 50s, this provision allows policyholders to increase their benefits as their health may begin to decline or for any other reason.

For younger applicants, the policy allows the policyholder to select a lower inflation benefit at a considerably reduced cost, perhaps when they might have higher expenses, such as covering their children's college tuition. They can subsequently opt to increase the inflation rate when those expenses diminish. 

Mutual of Omaha will charge the policyholder for the additional inflation benefit at the time it is selected. 

Generally speaking, we recommend only considering MutualCare Custom Solution.

MutualCare Secure Solution has fewer options and is less customizable than Custom Solution. An experienced Long-Term Care specialist representing major companies will understand the distinctions and make appropriate recommendations based on your guidance. 

Both plans offer shared spousal/partner benefits, adjustable benefit levels for a nursing home compared to home care and assisted living, respite care, hospice benefits, care coordination, and additional money to pay for equipment and supplies if you receive care at home. No question -- Mutual of Omaha's LTC Insurance options are comprehensive.

Couples can opt for shared spousal benefits, enabling one spouse or partner to utilize the other's benefits should they deplete their own. However, if one spouse passes away, the remaining unused inflated benefit transfers to the surviving spouse, even though the premium payments for the deceased spouse cease.

Mutual of Omaha provides an alternative care benefit, which can hold significant importance, particularly if you are younger when obtaining coverage. The alternative care benefit grants the insurance company the flexibility to cover care options that may not be explicitly outlined in the policy. These could encompass services or care options that may not currently exist. As long as these alternative options contribute to your care and prove cost-effective, the company will consider coverage despite not being listed in the policy.

As time passes, technology and caregiving approaches undergo changes and improvements. A Mutual of Omaha LTC Insurance policy can be very flexible. It will be a 'living, breathing' document benefiting you and your family in the decades ahead. 

Pros

  • Financially, it is a very strong mutual company that has been in business since 1909.
  • Outstanding reputation
  • Highly customizable
  • Monthly benefits as opposed to daily benefits. The company looks at all the monthly bills instead of per day. 
  • Pool of money product - if the policyholder does not use the entire monthly benefit at the time of claim, the remaining money stays in the benefit account and grows with inflation (if selected)
  • Available shared spousal benefits
  • Multiple inflation options
  • Good health and spousal/partner discounts
  • Waiver of premium when receiving benefits
  • Very affordable for single/or partnered men
  • Partnership certified 
  • International benefits (full benefit in the U.S., territories, The United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland, Canada, etc.); up to one year anywhere else globally. 
  • Shared spousal/partner benefits available
  • Cash benefits included in the base policy
  • Alternate care benefit
  • Hospice and respite care
  • Bed reservation benefit
  • Several return of premium options are available
  • Multiple underwriting classes 

Cons

  • Unavailable if two first-degree blood relatives had been diagnosed with dementia/Alzheimer's (parents and siblings)
  • More expensive for single women
  • Long underwriting process in some situations
  • No Ten-pay OR single-pay premium option
  • Return of premium options NOT available with a shared spousal benefit option

#2. Thrivent Financial 

Again, in 2024, Thrivent Financial is ranked number two. 

Although not widely known by some people, Thrivent is a non-profit fraternal organization and a Fortune 500 company. It holds the highest AM Best Rating of A++ (Superior) and boasts a COMDEX rating of 100, the highest attainable rating.

However, it's worth noting that Thrivent is not available to everyone. 

Originally established as a mutual benefit society for Lutherans, Thrivent has expanded its offerings to all Christians. Consequently, to be eligible for a policy with Thrivent, applicants must affirm their alignment with Christian values and their intention to live out their faith as a Christian or be married to a Christian. 

The application includes a specific question addressing this requirement. The company's steadfast commitment to Christian values can either be a significant advantage for some consumers or pose a potential hurdle for others. Unless you identify as a Christian or are married to a Christian, Thrivent would not be an available choice.

Thrivent provides a comprehensive policy offering a monthly benefit to cover future care expenses. Policyholders establish a benefit account with an associated benefit period, creating an initial benefit account for their care needs. If the policyholder doesn't fully utilize the available monthly benefit at the time of a claim, the remaining funds remain in the account and may grow with inflation if that option was selected.

It's important to clarify that the benefit period does not dictate that your benefits will last for only a specific period; rather, it represents the minimum duration for which your benefits will be available. Any unused benefits are not forfeited and remain in your account. While the concept of a benefit period can be confusing, it operates similarly to most other companies by establishing a benefit account that can increase with inflation.

Thrivent offers shared spousal benefits and several inflation options, allowing customization of your benefits. Thrivent's shared benefits function similarly to Mutual of Omaha, differing from other companies that offer a third shared benefit account. These policies are linked by a rider, enabling one spouse to tap into the other spouse's benefits should their own be depleted. Even if the premium payments have ceased, in the event of one spouse's passing, 100% of the unused benefits will be passed on to the surviving spouse. However, the premium for the deceased spouse disappears.

It's important to note that single women will pay more for coverage than single men. However, Thrivent does offer spousal discounts. Additionally, the policy includes a cash rider that provides the policyholder with extra cash at the time of a claim.

Thrivent's underwriting standards necessitate more extended stability periods following recovery compared to most other companies. This means that you may have to wait longer before becoming eligible to purchase coverage following certain surgeries or health events, in contrast to the policies of other insurance providers.

Again, be sure your agent asks many health questions before considering Thrivent as an option. A Long-Term Care specialist who works with all the major companies will understand these differences. 

Ten-Pay Option

If the notion of having your premium cease upon retirement appeals to you, Thrivent provides a way to pay the entire premium for your policy in ten years. Through their 10-pay option, you can achieve a fully paid policy with no further premiums after the ten-year period.

Thrivent is partnership-certified in most states participating in the partnership program.

Pros

  • Financially very strong 
  • Outstanding reputation
  • Non-profit mutual company
  • Multiple inflation options are available
  • Monthly benefits as opposed to daily benefits. The company looks at all the bills for the month instead of daily
  • A pool of money product - if the policyholder does not use the entire monthly benefit at the time of claim, the remaining money stays in the benefit account and grows with inflation (if selected)
  • Waiver of premium when receiving benefits
  • Shared spousal/partner benefits available
  • Cash rider available at extra charge
  • Partnership certified 
  • Care coordination is available at the time of claim
  • Limited payment options are available
  • Respite care benefit
  • Hospice benefit
  • Ancillary benefits include equipment, home modification, and caregiver training 
  • Return of premium option available
  • Potential of dividends
  • Will consider applicants as young as age 18
  • Multiple underwriting classes

 Cons

  • Religious affiliation eliminates some people 
  • Much more expensive for single women
  • Elimination periods require at least one day of paid services in a calendar week to receive credit for seven calendar days
  • Very limited international benefit
  • No single premium option

Another note - as a fraternal organization, Thrivent cannot participate in the state guaranty association in any state. The Guarantee Association ensures that you would still have guaranteed benefits. However, money would be available in their reserve funds to pay claims if a financial crisis affects the insurance company and they cannot pay claims on your policy. 

Thrivent is still required by law to maintain policy reserves equal to the present value of future benefits guaranteed in Thrivent contracts, less the current value of future premiums. Thrivent holds the necessary reserve and contingency funds to continue to provide guaranteed benefits even under very adverse conditions.

#3. National Guardian Life (NGL)

No change in our top three from 2023, as National Guardian Life (NGL) remains at the number three spot for our best options for traditional Long-Term Care Insurance in 2024. NGL is a mutual insurance company founded in 1909 with nearly $5 billion in assets. 

The company has been in the long-term care marketplace since 2016. However, experts who designed the product have decades of experience.

NGL is a financially strong company with an A.M. Best rating of A. It has maintained an outstanding reputation in all the lines of insurance they sell since they were founded in 1909.

Third Shared Pool for Couples

NGL stands out among the top three in 2024 due to their shared "third pool" partner benefit. Couples have one policy for two individual benefits. Each individual has a benefit account that increases with inflation (if selected as an option.) 

However, if they choose the shared care option, they also receive a third benefit account that increases in value if the inflation option is included. Both insureds can access the third benefit account if they exhaust all their benefits.

NGL's shared care benefit offers policyholders outstanding coverage for the money, depending on their age and health.

Conservative Underwriting

NGL is a very conservative underwriter. The company has broadened its underwriting criteria slightly in the past year. Be sure the insurance agent/advisor or Long-Term Care Insurance specialist asks you detailed questions about your health and thoroughly understands the underwriting standards.

Generally, a qualified Long-Term Care specialist representing the top-rated insurance companies will understand every company's underwriting criteria and help you make the appropriate choices based on age, health, and other factors.

Daily Benefit Instead of Monthly Benefit

NGLs' use of a "daily benefit" instead of the more common "monthly benefit" offered by many companies is a point of concern for some LTC Insurance specialists. With a daily benefit, the company considers bills each day rather than consolidating all invoices at the end of the month. In situations involving in-home care, where you might have multiple service providers in a single day, this can result in higher costs for that particular day. 

Consequently, you may encounter more out-of-pocket expenses compared to a policy with a monthly benefit. However, a plan of care that avoids scheduling multiple providers in one day can reduce this concern. 

It's worth noting that NGL is partnership-certified in most states participating in the partnership program.

Their 'third pool shared spousal/partner benefit' is the primary reason to consider NGL; however, their lack of customization and overall pricing can make NGL more expensive in some situations.

There is no spousal discount if a married or partnered individual applies without their partner. NGL is more expensive for single women.

NGL has two limited pay options. You can pay one single premium and never be responsible for paying another premium again - no matter how long you live. You also can pay premiums over ten years and never be responsible for paying another premium.

If you own a "C" corporation, the single premium option would be 100% tax deductible. 

1035 Exchanges 

NGL is unique in traditional Long-Term Care Insurance that will accept tax-free 1035 exchanges of life insurance or annuity cash value to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance Premium. While common with hybrid policies, this option is available to fund a traditional policy. What this means is you can use the cash value from a life insurance policy or annuity to fund a Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Hybrid policies are not partnership certified. 

You can also add one of several 'return of premium' options.

The policy lacks an alternative benefit provision that both Mutual of Omaha and Thrivent Financial include. Those who purchase coverage in their 40s or 50s may be concerned that changes in technology and caregiving options may limit their policy in the decades to come. 

Nonetheless, the company retains the ability to add benefits to policies in the future at no additional cost. However, they are prohibited from removing benefits from your policy.

NGL is expected to introduce a newly designed policy version sometime in 2024.

Pros

  • Third shared benefit account for couples/partners
  • Limited payment options are available
  • Waiver of premium at the time of claim waives 100% of a couple's premium since it is one policy for two people
  • Partnership certified 

Cons

  • Very conservative underwriting 
  • Only offers a "daily benefit" - no monthly benefit available 
  • No alternative benefit option - future changes in caregiving and technology may not be covered
  • Limited inflation options
  • The elimination period is "date of service," not "calendar day" 

NEUTRAL RATING

Numerous companies provide qualified Long-Term Care Insurance products that adhere to federal regulations outlined in Section 7702(b). It's crucial to note that no individual agent, agency, or advisor can offer preferential deals, as insurance companies must submit their products and pricing to each state's insurance department for approval.

While the top three companies offer better value, these insurers offer comprehensive policies that effectively address the costs and challenges associated with long-term care. Consequently, we have assigned them a neutral rating.

It's important to highlight that New York Life and Northwestern Mutual stand out as the two most costly Long-Term Care Insurance products currently available.

New York Life

Again, for 2024, New York Life receives a neutral rating. New York Life is one of the strongest insurance companies in the United States financially. Despite being financially strong, the premiums are very high.

They also affiliate with AARP with a branded Long-Term Care policy. New York Life has paid AARP for this endorsement.

New York Life also offers a product named "My Care," which comes with cash deductibles and an 80/20 co-insurance structure. Most specialists do not consider " My Care " a good option because of the high 'cost sharing' based on the 80/20 structure.

The company does offer a sub-standard rate, allowing for more moderate underwriting.

Talk About Dividends

Some New York Life agents show illustrations that show the premiums disappearing when the insured is in their 80s because of dividends. This is very misleading. Most actuaries say the likelihood of dividends significantly lowering your premium is remote.

The bottom line is that you should not depend on future dividends to pay back the cost differences between New York Life and other companies.

In addition, many New York Life agents will offer a benefit option with no inflation benefits or 'purchase options.' Purchase options increase the premium regularly. Despite the premium starting out low, it increases regularly, so most people will want to avoid that type of policy design.

The company also offers an inflation benefit based on the CPI (Consumer Price Index), so there are no 'guaranteed' benefit increases; they are variable. The premium cost is high, and it is not recommended.

Consumers will find much better value elsewhere.

Northwestern Mutual

Like New York Life, Northwestern Mutual is a financially strong insurance company with an outstanding reputation. However, premiums are very high, and the product is not competitive. 

Like New York Life, Northwestern Mutual agents will offer options with no inflation benefits or 'purchase options' that increase the premium regularly. Most people will want to avoid that type of policy design.

Consumers will find much better value elsewhere.

LifeSecure (Blue Cross - Blue Shield of Michigan)

At one time, LifeSecure was one of the leaders in individual Long-Term Care Insurance. However, several years ago, they stopped offering individual products and concentrated on the employee benefits market.

The current product is basic and not very competitive against other products; however, it could be an option if your employer plan includes relaxed underwriting — therefore, our neutral rating.

If you can obtain coverage from your employer, it is recommended to seek a Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to review to see if you can find much more affordable and comprehensive coverage elsewhere.

NOT RECOMMENDED

These companies offer products that meet federal guidelines but are not recommended for various reasons in our 2024 review.

These companies include:

Banker's Life

Bankers Life is the primary subsidiary of CNO Financial Group, Inc. (formerly known as Conseco, Inc. until 2010). They have improved their AM Best rating to A, but the company and its parent have had financial problems in the past. Bankers Life holds an A from Fitch, Moody's ranked them at A3 and Standard & Poor's A-.

In addition to past financial issues, the company has gained a reputation for not paying claims. A report by CBS News highlighted some of Bankers Life customers' problems when processing claims.

Furthermore, there are numerous negative online reviews. Nevertheless, it's essential to consider that many company reviews inherently tend to be unfavorable and should not be the sole factor in evaluating an insurance company.

Additionally, there have been media accounts of Banker's Life agents employing aggressive sales techniques. It's important to note that all their products are exclusively marketed by "captive agents" who exclusively promote their offerings.

However, remember that insurance companies and their management change over time, and the financial performance has improved over the years.

The product itself is in line with most other policies. It has many extra options you can choose from at an additional cost. Banker's Life still uses a daily benefit instead of a monthly benefit, but overall, it has numerous features and options.

Banker's Life does offer more lenient underwriting compared to our recommended options. The company will also consider applicants as young as 18 and as old as 84.

However, considering everything, Banker's Life is NOT RECOMMENDED.

Knights of Columbus

The Knights of Columbus share similarities with Thrivent, but their product offerings are only available to Roman Catholics. The Knights have established themselves as a reliable choice with a solid financial standing and a favorable reputation. However, it's worth noting that Long-Term Care Insurance is not their primary focus.

It's important to highlight that the policy lacks partnership certification in any state.

One significant drawback lies in the policy's utilization of "usual and customary" language. In the event of a claim, regardless of the benefit you selected and the actual care costs billed by the provider, the insurance company will determine if the charges align with what is considered "usual and customary."

For Long-Term Care Insurance, this is an unusual provision that limits the benefits available at the time of claim. For this reason, this policy is NOT RECOMMENDED.

Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Employee Plan

The federal government has suspended sales of their employee Long-Term Care Insurance option. They are expected to release a new product, perhaps by 2025. John Hancock administers the LTCFEDS plan available to federal government employees and spouses.

Premium increases, use of daily benefits instead of monthly benefits, lack of shared spousal benefits, and no partnership certification were all reasons for concern.

This plan had been 'NOT RECOMMENDED' in previous years. We will review any new policy when it becomes available.

Asset-Based "Hybrid" Long-Term Care Insurance

There remains a significant buzz surrounding hybrid Long-Term Care Insurance in the insurance industry. It's crucial not to confuse “hybrid" policies that meet federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) with life insurance policies featuring a chronic illness rider or those that merely accelerate the death benefit.

Asset-based "hybrid" policies combine a life insurance policy or annuity with extended Long-Term Care Insurance benefits, ensuring you receive either death or long-term care benefits (or both.) Typically, these policies are funded with a single premium. However, most companies offer the option to extend premium payments over five, ten, twenty years, or even a lifetime.

While they tend to be pricier than traditional Long-Term Care Insurance, hybrid policies offer the advantage of a death benefit payout if you never require long-term care benefits. Additionally, these policies come with a guarantee that your premium will never increase.

It's worth emphasizing that only hybrid policies meeting the criteria of federally tax-qualified Long-Term Care Insurance policies, as outlined in IRS Code Section 7702(b), are recommended. These federal regulations offer consumer protections, tax advantages, and standardized benefit triggers, providing policyholders and their families with added peace of mind.

However, hybrid policies are not 'partnership' certified, so if the additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection offered through a traditional LTC Insurance policy that is partnership certified is important, a hybrid policy would not be appropriate. 

In the past few years, premiums for these hybrid products have become more affordable. Several companies offer 'cash' benefits for long-term care, and two companies offer policies that allow a couple to enjoy individual long-term care benefits with a second-to-die death benefit.

Recommended Hybrid Options

Cash Means Flexibility

Brighthouse Financial, Nationwide, and Securian stand out by offering cash benefits, which are hard to surpass in terms of flexibility. With these policies, the company disburses the entire available long-term care benefit amount in cash, affording you complete control and flexibility when utilizing the benefits at the time of a claim.

On the other hand, One America and Nationwide offer a hybrid policy designed for couples, featuring a second-to-die death benefit.

One America and Global Atlantic offer annuity/long-term care products with reduced underwriting requirements, which can provide long-term care benefits to those who may find obtaining more traditional products due to pre-existing health.

Several companies offer some international benefits, but Brighthouse Financial distinguishes itself with its global reach. In addition to providing cash benefits, Brighthouse allows you to use these benefits anywhere in the world, making it the exclusive choice for individuals planning to reside overseas or spend a significant amount of time outside the United States and its territories.

It's important to note that all these companies enjoy robust financial stability and high ratings. If you choose a hybrid policy as the most suitable option for your family, focusing your research on these companies is advisable.

Quick Review

Three companies offer cash benefits for long-term care:

  • Brighthouse
  • Nationwide
  • Securian

Two companies have shared spousal benefit plans:

  • Nationwide
  • One America

Two companies offer annuity/long-term care hybrid policies with more lenient underwriting rules:

  • One America
  • Global Atlantic

Most companies are relatively conservative in underwriting; however, many changes in underwriting criteria have been made over the years. Be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to review these options. 

What to Avoid

Many life insurance offerings offer products with a chronic illness rider. These products do not meet federal guidelines, and the cost of the rider and the actual 'long-term care' benefit are often determined when you need care. Many of these products offer the rider at no additional premium at the time to get coverage. Much better and more comprehensive options are available. 

Several employer-offered products accelerate the death benefit on a life insurance policy if you need long-term care. Some of these meet federal guidelines. The best thing about these products is the underwriting rules. Often, as long as you are working full-time and pass a few 'knock-out' health questions, you can get coverage. These products are not cheap; if you have health issues, it could be an option; otherwise, better options are available. 

Short-Term Cash Indemnity Policies

These offerings are not traditional long-term care policies; they are cash indemnity plans intended to help defray the expenses associated with long-term health care, whether received at home or in a care facility.

The most significant benefit of these products is the more lenient underwriting requirements. Underwriting is usually a series of knock-out health questions and a review of prescription drugs. However, don't expect coverage if you need care or have substantial health issues. It is recommended to seek help from a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who represents all these product options and understands underlying rules to determine eligibility for coverage. 

Don't be confused by the term "short-term," as these policies can offer substantial benefits, usually in cash, to pay for long-term care expenses. One policy could pay over $200,000 in benefits. In fact, some industry leaders call the product "extended care" due to the large amount of cash benefits available in some of these products. However, due to how these policies are filed with state regulators, the term "short-term" is still used. 

These products can offer certain advantages when options are limited, perhaps due to age or pre-existing health conditions. They can also be a suitable supplement for individuals looking to enhance their existing Long-Term Care Insurance policy.

You can also 'bundle' these products. In other words, you can purchase multiple policies and receive the full benefits from each policy. For older adults or someone with health issues, bundling policies increases the amount of money available to pay for care. 

Please be aware that the availability of these products varies by state. You can check if your state offers one of these products by clicking here.

Recommended 

Aetna/Continental Life

Aetna has two available products.

Recovery Care is the most comprehensive. It is a cash indemnity policy. Once you qualify for benefits, the policyholder gets the full eligible benefit in cash, no matter the size of the actual bill. You can use any provider you wish, including family, with a cash benefit.

It will pay up to 360 days for any long-term care facility (nursing home, memory care, rehabilitation facility, or assisted living facility). Aetna includes a restoration of benefits that provides an additional 360 days if you recover and go 180 days without requiring care. The maximum benefit choice is $400 a day.

Aetna will pay for up to 52 weeks of in-home care (in some states, 51 weeks). It also includes a restoration of benefits in most states. The maximum benefit choice is $1200 a week (Texas allows up to $3000 a week).

There is also a hospital indemnity that offers up to $400 a day every day you are in the hospital. This benefit has nothing to do with your health insurance or Medicare. It pays cash directly to you for each day in the hospital. 

The concept here is that your hospital visits tend to increase as you age. Following a hospital stay, you frequently require care at home or in a facility. It is a way to get you additional cash for care. It's important to note that you don't necessarily have to be receiving long-term care services to be eligible for this cash benefit; the benefit is activated by an overnight hospital stay.

Underwriting is much broader than Long-Term Care Insurance.

Aetna also offers Home Care Plus. This product eliminates the facility portion of the product above. Some people who are ineligible for Recovery Care may qualify for this product. 

Manhattan Life 

Omni Flex is a product offering very similar to Aetna but offers some additional benefits. It offers up to $300 a day for facility and in-home care. It also includes a hospital indemnity benefit. 

Two additional benefits exist with Manhattan Life. It includes a prescription drug indemnity benefit. It will pay you $10 for every generic drug and $25 for a brand name up to $300 a year. This benefit is a cash benefit on top of any health insurance drug benefit you may have. In other words, you get the money just for taking the drug, even if the medication is fully paid for by your health insurance. If you are taking several prescription drugs, this benefit significantly reduces your annual premium cost. 

Again, like all products in this category, underwriting is much broader than Long-Term Care Insurance.

Guaranteed Trust Life 

Guaranteed Trust Life (GTL) has several available products:

  • Recovery Cash
  • Home Care Secure
  • Home Health Care

Recovery Cash has more conservative underwriting but is broader than traditional Long-Term Care Insurance. It includes benefits for nursing homes, assisted living facilities, and home care. 

GTL's Home Health Care has limited home care benefits but very broad underwriting. This is limited coverage for people who cannot obtain coverage from other companies. It also includes a prescription drug reimbursement benefit which reduces the premium significantly if the policyholder has many prescription drugs. 

Home Care Secure is a home care only policy with underwriting similar to Aetna's home care only option.

Closing Thoughts

This assessment of the leading Long-Term Care Insurance options serves as a comprehensive overview, but it is essential to understand that the true value of any policy lies in its active presence when needed most.

The need for long-term care can arise from chronic health conditions, limited mobility, cognitive issues like dementia, and the natural frailty that comes with aging. These needs may manifest at any stage of life, but the likelihood of requiring care tends to increase with age. 

In a climate of escalating long-term health care expenses, careful planning is indispensable to safeguard your 401(k) and other assets from the financial challenges of aging.

Keep in mind that care costs vary depending on the type of services you will require and where you live. The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator is a great tool to help you plan.

It's important to recognize that long-term care planning not only helps your cash flow and secure your lifestyle and legacy; it also pertains to securing access to high-quality care in your preferred setting. Additionally, it grants your loved ones the opportunity to remain family members rather than taking on caregiving responsibilities.

The majority of individuals typically acquire Long-Term Care Insurance in their 40s or 50s, with premium rates influenced by factors such as age, health history, family health history, and chosen coverage options. These policies are designed to meet individual needs, providing flexibility and peace of mind in planning for the future.

However, depending on your health, affordable options are available in your 60s and beyond. Plus, short-term cash indemnity policies and hybrid policies might offer options for those who may not be eligible with traditional LTC Insurance. 

It is highly recommended you seek help from a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist who represents the top insurance companies and all product categories. A specialist will ask many detailed questions about your health, family history, and finances to provide you with accurate quotes and policy design recommendations from all the top companies based on your age, health, and other factors. 

The risk of long-term care will significantly impact your family and finances. You deserve access to quality care without draining assets or placing a burden on those you love. Understanding that you need a plan is the first step. A comprehensive retirement plan should include one of these options for future long-term care.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Finding quality care for you and your spouse in the future, or for a loved one now, is a primary goal. Looking for care options while dealing with the emotions of a loved one needing long-term care services can be overwhelming. LTC NEWS has developed a tool to make the job of finding quality long-term care much easier. 

The LTC NEWS Caregiver Directory is a free, comprehensive national database with an expansive listing of over 80,000 long-term care service providers, simplifying the job of finding qualified caregivers or appropriate care facilities. You can search for providers where you or your loved one lives and read about their qualifications and options. 

Those with an LTC policy will find the doors of quality care open wide. LTC NEWS can help process claims from any Long-Term Care Insurance policy. LTC NEWS, in partnership with Amada Senior Care, a nationally recognized in-home health care agency, ensures that you and your loved ones receive the quality care you deserve. 

This service comes at no cost or obligation - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

These four LTC NEWS guides will assist you in trying to find appropriate long-term services for a loved one:

Your Primary Hub for In-Depth Information – LTC NEWS

On LTC NEWS, you'll find a diverse range of articles covering topics such as aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, long-term care, and retirement planning. We also offer a variety of tools and resources to enhance your understanding and support you in your quest for effective long-term care planning. 

Our objective is to provide educational content and expert guidance to aid you in your journey towards comprehensive long-term care planning.

Here are some of the resources that are available on LTC NEWS:

Harnessing Expertise: Consult with an Experienced Independent LTC Insurance Specialist

Navigating the intricacies of Long-Term Care Insurance policies can be a daunting task, given the vast array of policy choices and insurance providers in the market. Seeking guidance from an independent Long-Term Care Insurance specialist, particularly one holding a Certification for Long-Term Care (CLTC) designation, can prove to be a valuable asset in such circumstances.

These professionals possess extensive knowledge and expertise in underwriting and policy design to guide you in choosing a policy that matches you best. They will provide accurate quotes from top-rated insurance companies so you can decide which policy is best for you. This differentiates a specialist from other financial professionals like general insurance agents, insurance company captive agents, and financial advisors. 

A CLTC-certified specialist has completed rigorous training focused on long-term health care planning. They are well-versed in the nuances of these insurance policies, the underwriting norms of different companies, and the regulations governing these policies at both the federal and state levels.

Their specialized knowledge enables them to help design a policy tailored to your needs. Moreover, they can align your age, health status, and family medical history with an insurer that offers the most comprehensive coverage at the most affordable rate. This matching process is pivotal, given the variation in underwriting guidelines and premium rates across insurers.

Maximize Your Business and Website Potential with LTC NEWS

LTC NEWS provides a range of advertising and marketing solutions designed to help you connect with your desired audience, drive website traffic, and improve your site's SEO. Leveraging our sponsored content articles can significantly enhance your website traffic, amplify brand recognition, and foster relationships with prospective customers.

Benefits of Sponsored Content on LTC NEWS

  • Drives website traffic: Sponsored content articles are placed on LTC NEWS's homepage and other high-traffic website areas, ensuring that a large audience sees your message.
  • Increases brand awareness: Sponsored content articles are written in a way that educates and engages readers, helping to position your brand as a thought leader in your industry.
  • Connects with target audience: LTC NEWS's audience comprises people interested in long-term care, making it a great way to reach potential customers who are already considering your products or services.
  • Improves SEO: Sponsored content articles are written in a way that is optimized for search engines, helping to improve your website's ranking in search results.

In summary, sponsored content on LTC NEWS is a powerful marketing tool that can help you boost website traffic, SEO, brand recognition, and audience engagement.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

Sharing News with LTC NEWS 

Include LTC NEWS in your press release distribution. If your group, organization, business, political committee, etc., have news to share, send it to LTC NEWS. Email - newsroom@ltcnews.com  

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