There are variations between the policy language and benefits between the many companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance, however, the primary features and benefit choices are comparable from company to company. Differences do exist between the primary companies. When comparing long-term care insurance, you should recognize the differences between Northwestern Mutual and other major companies.
Northwestern Mutual is a very expensive option and premiums can be more than double other companies comparing the same benefits. They do, however, project dividend payments on their long-term care insurance policies. While this would offset some of the higher cost, it would remain an expensive option. The product is sold exclusively by Northwestern Mutual Life agents.
Key product features include:
- Monthly benefits from $1500 to $12,000 a month
- Elimination Periods from 12 weeks to 52 weeks available
- Inflation options include 3%, 4% and 5% compounded or a guaranteed purchase option
They do not offer shared spousal benefits which many companies offer.
Since this product is very expensive, many agents recommend the “Guaranteed Purchase Option (GPO)” as the inflation benefit. This is problematic since your premium increases over time. The benefits do not increase unless you purchase these extra benefits when those options come available. Unless you refuse the option your premium and benefits automatically increase.
In some states, this GPO feature certifies the policy as a partnership plan, however, failure to accept an increase would void partnership benefits. Plus, failure to accept these benefits increases can void future offers.
Northwestern Mutual does offer long-term care partnership policies. Find your state on the LTC NEWS MAP. You can get the current cost of long-term care services, the availability of partnership plans and tax incentives by clicking here.
Significant premium differences exist between companies for the exact same benefits. Long-Term Care Insurance premiums are calculated based on your selection of benefit levels you wish to have in place. Premium calculations are also based on your age and health at the time of application. Plus, you may qualify for discounts which might be available.
Every company has their own underwriting rules which determine insurability and rate class. An experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will understand these underwriting rules when helping you select the best company and policy options.
You can find a qualified specialist who represents the major insurance companies which offer these products by clicking here.
Keep in mind, numerous state and federal regulation impact Long-Term Care Insurance. However, options and benefits do vary from company to company. Be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Specialist to compare the features, benefits, and costs of each policy.
Since your health is a primary consideration in determining your eligibility for coverage it is always best to start planning prior to retirement when health is usually better. A Long-Term Care Specialist will ask you a number of questions about your health in order to make the appropriate recommendation.
Please note: Since every company has different underwriting rules you could be eligible with one company and not another.
Because Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed you can design the plan to fit your specific needs, concerns and budget. A specialist will help you design your plan to address your concerns. Generally, you can design almost any plan, to:
- Safeguard income and savings
- Protect the lifestyle of your spouse/partner
- Provide options for quality care
- Reduce the stress and burdens otherwise placed on family members
- Give your adult children time to be family
- Provide a legacy for loved ones
State variations may apply.