We receive many inquiries from consumers shopping for long term care insurance as to which policy is the best long term care insurance policy to buy.
Below are links to my blog post reviews of a few of the "top-selling" long term care insurance companies.
Please keep in mind that for the most part, HIPPA legislation passed in 1996 standardized long term care insurance policies.
The triggers to qualify for benefits under the policies contain the same contractual language.
You will receive benefits with every contract if you are:
1) Unable to perform 2 of 6 activities of daily living without substantial assistance from another individual; or
2) You have a severe cognitive impairment such as Alzheimer's disease or senile dementia and you require verbal cueing as to not be a threat to your safety or to the safety of others.
Unlike policies sold in 1989, LTC insurance policies today do not require prior hospitalization and all pre-existing conditions are covered. Virtually every policy sold today is a comprehensive policy that provides care in all settings: home care, assisted living, adult day care centers and skilled nursing facilities.
Today, the policies are more alike than they are different. An insurance agent that works for a company may attempt to overstate a benefit of its policy vis-a-vis another policy in the hope to steer you in the direction the agent wishes to steer you, however these bells and whistles are not necessarily distinguishing factors.
Today, there are 4 distinguishing factors of long term care insurance policies:
Insurance companies will charge markedly different prices for the exact same benefits. Rates with some companies might be 250% higher. It pays to have an independent consultant provide transparent costs for you.
2. Financial ratings of the insurance company
Most of the leading long term care insurance providers are very stable with ratings of A or better from AM Best. A handful of companies do have A++ ratings, New York Life and Mass Mutual to name a few. Financial strength and stability should be factored in to your decision as to which policy to buy.
3) Type of policy
Today you have a few distinct types of policies with which to obtain long term care insurance benefits. You may buy a traditional long term care insurance policy, or you may purchase a hybrid long term care policy. Hybrid long term care policies will link long term care insurance benefits to life insurance or to a cash value annuity. Many agents will only sell one type of policy and will steer you towards the type of policy it wants to sell to you. Again, it is important to work with an independent consultant that offers you full transparency.
4) Underwriting differentiation
Health underwriting guidelines vary greatly by company. One company's decline is another company's approval. I suppose this factor is a subset of cost, however your health history may ultimately determine which policy you should consider. Once again, it will be in your interest to work with a very good agent.
All of this being said, I have reviewed many of the leading long term care insurance policies on my blog. Below is a consolidation of my reviews over the years so you may better understand the benefits, costs and attributes of policies available. Please keep in mind that policy series and pricing are often revised. A competitively priced company of yesteryear may be a very expensive company to buy a policy from today.
Review of the Nationwide CareMatters II cash indemnity hybrid long term care policy
Review of the Northwestern Mutual Quiet Care policy
Review of the Mutual of Omaha traditional long term care policy
New York Life (Hybrid)
Review of the New York Life Asset Flex hybrid policy
Review of the Securian SecureCare (Minnesota Life) hybrid long term care policy
Review of the Brighthouse SmartCare Indexed UL Hybrid LTC Policy
Mass Mutual (Hybrid)
Review of the MassMutual CareChoice One hybrid LTC policy
Review of the Pacific Life PremierCare Choice Max hybrid policy
Review of the Pacific Life Premier Care hybrid policy
Mass Mutual (Traditional)
Review of the Mass Mutual Signature Care traditional policy
New York Life (Traditional)
Review of the New York Life Secure Care traditional policy
Review of the 2020 Lincoln Moneyguard III hybrid long term care policy
Review of the popular Lincoln Moneyguard II hybrid LTC policy
Review of the LifeSecure multi-life long term care insurance policy
Review of the best selling joint hybrid long term care policy
Review of the OneAmerica (State Life) Asset Care III hybrid policy that accepts Tax Qualified funds.
Should you own a policy or should you be considering buying a policy and would like to receive a no-cost third party opinion and evaluation as to whether the policy merits value for your situation, you may reach me toll free at (800) 891-5824.