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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. Premiums and underwriting criteria vary dramatically between insurance companies.
When comparing long-term care insurance, you should recognize the differences between Pacific Life and other companies.
Pacific Life's PremiereCare Choice policy is a "hybrid' policy. It offers both a life insurance death benefit along with long-term care benefits. If you are looking for a hybrid, experts recommend limiting your review to those that meet the federal regulations for Long-Term Care Insurance.
There are two types of these policies. A qualified Long-Term Care Insurance contract is defined under IRS regulations § 7702B(b)(1) as any insurance contract that meets the guidelines set by the Internal Revenue Service.
The Pacific Life plan is considered a 7702B policy.
The other type of combination life insurance with benefits to pay for some extended care services are regulated under Section 101g. Federal law prohibits insurance companies from marketing these policies as "long term care" policies.
With a "hybrid" policy, you are guaranteed to receive either benefits for long-term care, death, or both. You have access to your money as well in three ways:
- You require long-term care services. You receive tax-free benefits to pay for all levels and types of long-term care either at home or in a facility of your choice. The traditional trigger for benefits is the same as any traditional Long-Term Care Insurance policy. Because this is a true Long-Term Care policy, you do not need to have a "terminal" health condition to trigger the benefit, in addition to your need for extended care.
- You die. Like any life insurance policy, when you die, you get a tax-free death benefit.
- You change your mind. There is a return of premium benefit if you no longer want the policy. While very few people will ever consider doing that, it gives many people additional peace-of-mind, knowing you have access to the money in the policy.
This policy is a combination of a life insurance policy with comprehensive benefits for long-term care services and supports. Pacific Life's PremiereCare Choice's premium can be paid with a single premium or guaranteed premium you pay in five or ten years that can NEVER increase.
It also features these benefits:
Pacific Life's PremiereCare Choice Features and Benefits
- Monthly benefits for long-term care services
- Coverage for all areas of care, skilled or custodial. This includes care at home, adult daycare centers, hospice, assisted living, memory care, and nursing home
- Variety of long-term care benefit period options up to eight years
- Residue death benefit
- Variety of inflation options including 3% simple, 3% compound and 5% compound
- Care coordination
- The choice at the time of claim to get a cash indemnity or normal reimbursement of actual charges you receive for your care
- Alternate plan of care to cover items not listed in the policy that could benefit your care and be cost-effective
- Home modifications
- Zero-day elimination period for home care
Since Pacific Life's PremiereCare Choice is a hybrid policy and not a traditional long-term care policy, it will not qualify as a partnership policy under state and federal law.
Find the current and future cost of long-term care services where you live, along with the availability of partnership plans and tax incentives - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
Keep in mind, numerous state and federal regulations impact Long-Term Care Insurance. Each state's department of insurance regulates premiums. Because of regulation, an insurance agent or financial advisor is not able to give a consumer a special discount which is not available otherwise.
There are more similarities than differences when it comes to features and benefits. However, options and benefits do vary from company to company. Premiums can vary between companies by over 100% when comparing equal benefits.
Every company has its 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.
Be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Specialist to compare the features, benefits, and costs of each policy. You can find a trusted and qualified specialist who represents the major insurance companies that offer these products by clicking here.
Since your health is a primary consideration in determining your eligibility for coverage, it is always best to start planning before retirement when health is usually better. An experienced Long-Term Care Specialist will ask you several questions about your health to provide you with accurate quotes and professional recommendations.
Please note: Since every company has different underwriting rules, you could be eligible for coverage 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 develop your plan to address your concerns. Generally, you can design a plan to meet some or all of these common goals:
- 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.