Mass Mutual has released its new Signature Care 600 long term care insurance policy in 39 states and I am disappointed to say the Mass Mutual LTC policy is no longer a viable consumer solution in the traditional long term care insurance marketplace.
Before we examine why the Mass Mutual Signature Care 600 LTC insurance policy is a terrible value let's first take a quick look at its core features and benefits.
Mass Mutual Long Term Care Insurance Review and Rating
Policy Type: Comprehensive Daily Reimbursement; Receipts are required.
Coverage Type: Guaranteed Renewable; Premiums are not guaranteed and may increase on a class basis subject to regulatory approval.
Daily Benefit Amount: $100 - $400.
Benefit Periods: 2 years, 3 years, 4 years, 5 years and 6 years
Inflation Protection: 3% compound and 5% compound
Elimination Period: 90 Service days; a minimum of 1 service day of home care in a calendar week will eliminate 7 days from the elimination period.
Payment Structure: Premium is paid for the life of the policy.
The standard issue long term care insurance policy benefits are also still included within this new policy series: Facility Bed Reservation Benefit, Respite Care Benefit, Live At Home Benefit, Care Coordination Benefit; Waiver of Premium Benefit.
Independent home caregivers are also still covered under this contract.
Care provided by family members are still excluded.
The Shared Care rider is no longer available.
Okay, now that we have covered the standard LTC insurance policy cookie cutter features, why is this Mass Mutual Signature Care policy no longer viable for you to consider?
Well, I am glad you asked.
Have you seen the new Mass Mutual LTC Insurance rates?
Mass Mutual Signature Care Now Charging Gender Distinct Long Term Care Insurance Pricing
Mass Mutual is now charging women distinctly higher premiums than it is charging men. With Mass Mutual's new pricing women are now paying 83% more premium than women were being charged by Mass Mutual on its retired Signature Care 500 policy series.
83%!! Not a typo.
The Mass Mutual LTC rates for men, rather than decreasing as we have seen by other underwriters that moved to gender distinct pricing, have actually increased as well, (but only by 4%).
Take a look at how the rates have changed:
Female, nearest age 60; single applicant, Select Preferred health (standard health category)
$200 daily benefit, 3 year benefit period, 3% compound inflation protection, 90 day elimination period
Old rate: $318.19 month; New Rate: $578.85 month
$200 daily benefit, 4 year benefit period, 3% compound inflation protection, 90 day elimination period
Old Rate $356.58 month; New Rate $656.11 month
$200 daily benefit, 5 year benefit period, 3% compound inflation protection, 90 day elimination period
Old Rate $391.48 month; New Rate $712.19 month
So, with this new pricing structure where is Mass Mutual placed with the rest of the long term care insurance marketplace?
Mass Mutual Long Term Care Insurance Pricing Comparison
Mass Mutual has underwritten long term care insurance since 2000. Until the release of this Signature Care 600 policy series, the Mass Mutual rates have been very competitive, generally comprising the lower end of the price spectrum. With this new pricing however, Mass Mutual is making a significant move higher.
Let's examine the costs for a 60 year old married Illinois couple shopping for long term care insurance.
Benefits: $200 day, 3 years each, automatic 3% compound inflation, 90 day elimination period
National Guardian Life: $385.00 month combined, joint premium
Mutual of Omaha: $460.36 month combined; Male $174.60 month, Female $285.76 month
Thrivent Financial: $565.33 month combined; Male $210.53 month, Female $354.80 month
Northwestern Mutual: $778.62 month combined; $282.72 month, Female $495.90 month
Mass Mutual: $789.09 month combined; Male $287.22 month, Female $501.87 month
New York Life: $860.74 month combined; $344.14 month, $516.61 month
Well, I suppose New York Life is happy. New York Life still retains the title for the absolute worst long term care insurance policy.
NY Life: The Company You Keep. (Uggh, Gotta love these marketing slogans)
So, Mass Mutual's New Rates Stink. How Will Mass Mutual Sell Its Long Term Care Insurance Policy?
With the release of these new Mass Mutual traditional long term care insurance rates, Mass Mutual is now marketing not one, but two long term care focused insurance policies that are not market-competitive.
Mass Mutual also tries to market its CareChoice One hybrid long term care insurance policy which pales greatly in comparison to the best hybrid long term care policies. With its CareChoice One hybrid policy, Mass Mutual really uses Fidelity Investments to push its policy upon Fidelity account holders that might not know any better.
I am not sure what Mass Mutual's plans are to market this Signature Care 600 traditional LTC policy?
Obviously, you will not buy this policy with a terrific priced option available for you from an A+ rated underwriter such as Mutual of Omaha.
Would you pay 72% more premium to buy the same benefits with Mass Mutual instead of Mutual of Omaha? I sure wouldn't.
The traditional long term care insurance arena is shrinking rapidly. It is becoming more difficult for you to find a stand-alone long term care insurance policy at a reasonable price-point.
Thankfully, today you will still have two underwriters: Mutual of Omaha (A+ rated, AM Best) and National Guardian Life (A- rated, AM Best) that offer very affordable premiums; and a 3rd underwriter: Thrivent Financial (A++ rated AM Best, that offers you somewhat more moderate pricing.
Unfortunately, at the other end of the spectrum we now have 3 underwriters that are selling long term care insurance to you for very high premiums: Mass Mutual, Northwestern Mutual, and New York Life.
If you are seeking an affordable traditional long term care insurance policy, now might be the time to move forward before the traditional LTC insurance marketplace shrinks even further.
We work with the leading long term care insurance underwriters such as Mutual of Omaha, Lincoln Financial, OneAmerica, Securian, Pacific Life, National Guardian, Mass Mutual, Thrivent, Transamerica, Global Atlantic and more.
To receive free quotes and customized illustrations for traditional and hybrid long term care insurance policies, please call us at (800) 891-5824. Or complete our quote request from.