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 Minnesota Life/ Securian Financial and other major companies.
Rebranding has transformed Minnesota Life and they have adopted their parent company’s name, Securian Financial. In addition, they now have enhanced their SecureCare policy series. This is an asset-based policy referred to as a “hybrid” policy. This is a combination of life insurance policy with comprehensive coverage for long-term care.
These “hybrid” policies are unique in they give the policyholder both a death benefit and long-term care. When you have one of these policies you are able to access money in your policy three ways:
You need long-term care services and supports – Just like any tax-qualified long-term care policy, you receive tax-free benefits when you meet the benefit triggers – two of six activities of daily living or supervision due to cognitive impairment.
You die – Like any life insurance policy, when you pass away your beneficiaries will receive the tax-free death benefit.
You change your mind – If for any reason you need money you can receive the cash surrender value. 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.
Cash is king and with this policy as 100% of benefits are paid in cash to you once you qualify for long-term care. No bills are required. You receive the full cash benefit once you meet the benefit trigger. This gives you control and independence as you stay in full control on how you receive care and use the money. Yes, you get cash but the benefits remain tax-free.
Since bill receipts are not required by Minnesota Life/Securian Financial, you can use any care providers who wish, including informal care, provided by a spouse, friend, or family member is covered under the informal care provision in the policy.
There is premium payment flexibility. Pay one single premium and have a fully paid policy OR pay an annual premium for five, seven or fifteen years. The premium can never go up as it offers a fixed guaranteed premium. However, these are annual payments (no monthly, quarterly or semi-annual options are available).
There is no waiver of premium at the time of claim if you are paying an annual premium. Once premiums are paid you have a fully paid policy. If you choose a multi-year premium payment plan and are unable to pay the remaining premiums for any reason, you will receive a reduced paid-up benefit proportional to the amount of premium you already paid.
There is a spousal/partner discount of premium available. If you are married or in a long-term committed relationship, a discount is available and only one person needs to apply in order to obtain this discounted premium. Please note: some state or county regulatory variations may apply.
There is a 90-calendar day elimination period in the policy. Caregiver Training and Home Modification benefits are available. These benefits can be obtained prior to completing the elimination period. This allows the policyholder to request these benefits immediately after the claim being approved. It is required that this is included in the policyholder’s plan of care.
SecureCare is one of the few asset-based “hybrid” products whose long-term care rider premium may be tax-deductible like a traditional policy.
This product also features international benefits … in cash … equal to 50% of the normal benefit.
Since SecureCare is not a traditional long-term care policy it will not qualify as a partnership policy under state and federal law.
Get more details on the partnership program by finding 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.