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The Best Long-Term Care Insurance

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    Long-term care life insurance is one of the best investments an individual can make in themselves. This life insurance rider is an excellent option for those seeking additional protections in the event they become seriously ill or disabled. Long-term care life insurance policies allow individuals to essentially borrow against their death benefit to pay for costs associated with chronic medical conditions, including for things like nursing home expenses and medical treatments not covered by Medicare or health insurance.

    With so many carriers out there, finding the best long-term care life insurance provider can be a challenge. Our team simplified the shopping experience by compiling a list of the best long-term care life insurance providers based on financial strength, customer satisfaction, and breadth of coverage. During our research, we found State Farm to have the best long-term care life insurance offerings; however, there are many other options available that will meet your unique needs. The most important considerations customers need to make when purchasing their life insurance policies are financial strength, customer service, and policy features.

    The 5 Best Long-Term Care Life Insurance Providers

    Compare the Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

    Reviews.com Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options. AM Best Financial Strength AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim. J.D. Power Overall Customer Satisfaction J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.
    Pin State Farm5A++838
    Pin Nationwide4.8A+803
    Pin Northwestern Mutual5A++790
    Pin Mutual of Omaha4.2A+789
    Pin New York Life4.2A++784

    Information accurate as of 10/21/20

    State Farm

    Best Overall

    State Farm tops our list of best long-term care life insurance providers, boasting the highest customer satisfaction and financial strength. Their coverage options offer a great solution for those seeking robust insurance products to meet their unique needs.
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 838* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    State Farm tops our list of best long-term care life insurance providers, boasting the highest customer satisfaction and financial strength. Their coverage options offer a great solution for those seeking robust insurance products to meet their unique needs.

    Pros

    • Highest customer satisfaction
    • Highest financial strength
    • Intuitive online quote tool

    Cons

    • Changes to policy can only be made in-person
    • No life insurance offered in Massachusetts
    • Does not offer variable life insurance policies
    Read More

    Other insurance products offered

    •   Limited Pay Life Insurance
    •   Single Premium Life Insurance
    •   Final Expense
    •   10-, 20-, and 30-year Term Life Insurance
    •   Universal Life Insurance
    •   Level Term Rider
    •   Children’s Term Rider
    •   Guaranteed Insurability Option
    •   Waiver of Monthly Deduction for Disability
    •   Flexible Care Benefit Rider
    •   Small Business Life Insurance

    Unique features

    While policy changes can only be made in-person, State Farm offers an excellent claims filing tool online. When customers need to file a claim, they can simply use the State Farm website to file and process it!

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on State Farm

    Nationwide

    Best Customer Service

    Nationwide is second only to State Farm when it comes to customer service. Providing a broad range of helpful resources to policyholders, the company truly lives up to its “By Your Side” tagline.
    • 4.8 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 803* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Nationwide is second only to State Farm when it comes to customer service. Providing a broad range of helpful resources to policyholders, the company truly lives up to its “By Your Side” tagline.

    Pros

    • Highest customer satisfaction
    • Great financial strength
    • Many resources for policyholders

    Cons

    • No mobile app
    • Some health issues may require a doctor’s evaluation
    Read More

    Other insurance products offered

    • YourLife Guaranteed Level Term Insurance
    • Survivorship Indexed Universal Life Insurance
    • Indexed Universal Life Accumulator and Accumulator II
    • Indexed Universal Life Protector and Protector II
    • YourLife Whole Life Insurance

    Unique features

    If you happen to live in New York, Nationwide offers additional coverage options that may not available in other states. These include the Indexed Universal Life Accumulator, No-Lapse Guarantee Universal Life II, and Indexed Universal Life Protector policies. 

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Nationwide

    Northwestern Mutual

    Best for Consumer Flexibility

    Not only does Northwestern Mutual offer coverage options to traditionally “high-risk” individuals (such as seniors and smokers) but they also offer flexible payment terms to help these individuals compensate for their higher premiums by selecting a payment plan that meets their needs.
    • 5 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 790* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Not only does Northwestern Mutual offer coverage options to traditionally “high-risk” individuals (such as seniors and smokers) but they also offer flexible payment terms to help these individuals compensate for their higher premiums by selecting a payment plan that meets their needs.

    Pros

    • Above-average customer satisfaction
    • Highest financial strength
    • Plans build cash value

    Cons

    • No online quote tools
    • Health exam required
    • Only sold through agents
    Read More

    Other insurance products offered

    • Term Life Insurance
    • Whole Life Insurance
    • Universal Life Insurance
    • Child Rider
    • Disability Income Benefit Rider
    • Waiver-of-premium Rider

    Unique features

    The most unique feature about Northwestern Mutual life insurance is the company’s willingness to provide coverage to high-risk customers despite the fact that they require health exams. This will result in a higher premium, but it’s a much better alternative than not having coverage at all!

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Northwestern Mutual

    Mutual of Omaha

    Best Coverage Options

    Mutual of Omaha is among the top 5 insurance companies when it comes to customer service, according to J.D. Power. Combine that with its guaranteed approval options on simplified insurance and you have one of the best long-term care insurance companies.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A+ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 789* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    Mutual of Omaha is among the top 5 insurance companies when it comes to customer service, according to J.D. Power. Combine that with its guaranteed approval options on simplified insurance and you have one of the best long-term care insurance companies.

    Pros

    • Above-average customer satisfaction
    • Great financial strength
    • Offers short- and long-term disability

    Cons

    • No online quote tools
    • Limited $20,000 monthly coverage
    Read More

    Other insurance products offered

    • Term Life Answers in 10-, 15-, 20-, and 30-year Terms
    • Term Life Express
    • Living Promise
    • AccumUL Answers
    • Life Protection Advantage
    • Income Advantage
    • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
    • Accidental Death Benefit Rider
    • Child Rider
    • Spouse Rider
    • Term Insurance Rider
    • Waiver-of-premium Rider

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on Mutual of Omaha

    New York Life

    Best Tools Variety of Riders

    New York Life takes the best of Northwestern Mutual’s consumer flexibility and Mutual of Omaha’s coverage options to provide customers with the most variety of riders. This makes customizing policies a breeze, and helps provide customers with the coverage options that matter most to them.
    • 4.2 Reviews Score Score is based on company’s customer experience, financial stability, and coverage options.
    • A++ AM Best Rate AM Best rates insurance providers creditworthiness. Ratings are based on the provider’s ability to follow through with a payout when a consumer files a claim.
    • 784* J.D. Power J.D. Power scores are based on surveys for customer satisfaction and product quality.

    Why we chose it

    New York Life takes the best of Northwestern Mutual’s consumer flexibility and Mutual of Omaha’s coverage options to provide customers with the most variety of riders. This makes customizing policies a breeze, and helps provide customers with the coverage options that matter most to them.

    Pros

    • Great financial strength
    • Wide variety of riders
    • Informational website

    Cons

    • No online quotes
    • Term lengths capped at 20 years
    • Average customer satisfaction
    Read More

    Other insurance products offered

    • Annual Renewable Term Life Insurance
    • Term Life Insurance
    • Universal Life Insurance
    • Variable Universal Life Insurance
    • Whole Life Insurance
    • Accelerated Death Benefit Rider
    • Accidental Death Benefit Rider
    • Child Rider
    • Guaranteed Insurability Rider
    • Long-term Care Rider
    • Waiver-of-premium Rider
    • Return-of-cash-value Rider
    • Lapse Protection Rider
    • Spouse Rider

    Unique features

    By signing up for New York Life My Care, customers can easily combine long-term care with their universal life insurance policy and other long-term care benefits — all backed by a money-back guarantee.

    *J.D. Power’s 2020 Life Insurance Study. Based on a 1,000-point scale.

    Further Reading on New York Life

    Methodology

    Reviews.com scores products, services and companies using five quantifiable criteria to help readers choose the best one for them. For the life insurance companies, our editorial team compared financial strength, number of riders offered, coverage options, customer satisfaction scores and website functionality from each company to produce our very own Reviews.com score. These ratings were evaluated with you, our readers, in mind, and are meant to be a helpful tool to simplify the process of choosing which life insurance company is best for you. Since life insurance rates vary widely among different profiles, we encourage you to continue researching options that fit your specific needs.

    Cost of Long-Term Care Insurance

    The cost of long-term care life insurance depends on several different factors, including age, health status, gender, marital status, amount of coverage, and insurance provider. According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, the average cost of long-term care insurance premiums for a healthy married couple both aged 55 costs $4,826 per year (roughly $400/month). These numbers reflect that each policyholder has an initial benefit of $164,000, with a daily benefit of $150 and a three-year benefit period. However, when taking into account the average cost of long-term care services such as nursing homes and live-in aids, customers will require a daily benefit of at least $250. The following table outlines the costs associated with long-term care, and can help you determine how much coverage you’ll need:

     Live-in AidHomemaker ServicesAdult Day Health CareAssisted Living FacilityNursing Home Care
    Average Annual Cost$52,624$51,480$19,500$48,612$102,200

    Information cited from Genworth 2019 Cost of Care Survey.

    One way customers can determine the amount of coverage they’ll need is by researching the average cost of care in the region where they expect to live at the time they may need it. After researching that cost, subtract it from your daily income to determine what your daily benefit should be. For example, if a nursing home in your area costs $300/day and you earn $1,500/month ($50/day), then the daily benefit you should receive from your policy would be $250. Keep in mind that these policies are available in both term and life products: The longer the coverage period, the higher the premium will be.

    What are the Benefits of Long-Term Care Insurance?

    Long-term care insurance policies are a sound investment for anyone seeking financial stability in the event they become unable to care for themselves. While it’s never easy to imagine being unable to care for yourself, the possibility of losing autonomy in later years is real — and the cost for supplemental care is high. Although it may seem like a good idea to purchase a policy earlier in life to ensure coverage and secure a lower premium, this can end up costing you more in the long-run. For this reason, it’s best to hold off on adding a long-term care insurance policy until you reach 60 years of age or older.

    The following outlines just some of the benefits associated with obtaining a long-term care insurance policy:

    • Variety of Care Options: Most times, medical insurance won’t cover things like nursing home expenses or live-in aids. A long-term care insurance policy can provide you with the financial security you need to pay for such services.
    • Range of Service: Because you’ll have more money through your policy to cover the cost of care, you’ll be able to expand your range of services to include things like home-delivered meals, caregiver respite services, and more.
    • Relief for Family Members: Taking care of a loved one who is unable to care for themselves is an emotionally, mentally, and physically draining undertaking. A long-term care insurance policy relieves your family members of this duty so you don’t have to rely on them for the care you need.
    • Tax Advantages: Federal tax codes — and some state tax codes as well — may allow you to deduct the premiums for your long-term care insurance policy as medical expenses if they meet a certain threshold. This threshold increases with age, and policyholders must have a tax-qualified long-term care insurance policy in order to qualify for such advantages.

    How Long-Term Care Insurance Works

    Understanding how a long-term care insurance policy works now can save you and your loved ones a great deal of hassle in the future. Below is a step-by-step guide for how these policies work and how to receive your benefit:

    • Step One: Research available providers in your area and select the one that works best for your needs. Fill out and submit an application to be considered. If you have pre-existing conditions or are an at-risk individual, you may want to look for insurers that do not require a medical exam to prevent against receiving a denial of coverage.
    • Step Two: After submitting your application, you may work with your insurance agent to select the policy terms that work best for you. It’s recommended that you wait until you are 55 or older to purchase a plan: While premiums increase with age, you’ll ultimately invest less in your coverage if you pay more for a shorter period of time versus paying less for a longer period of time.
    • Step Three: As soon as you notice signs of needing long-term care, you should submit a claim to receive your benefit. Most insurance carriers require policyholders to demonstrate the loss of at least two out of six “activities of daily living.” These include bathing, caring for incontinence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring (getting in or out of bed/chairs). You will need supportive documents from your doctor to send to your insurance carrier for review of your claim.
    • Step Four: Prior to claims approval, the insurance provider will need to approve your plan of care. Many policies require customers to pay for their long-term care needs out-of-pocket for a set amount of time, so be sure to start a savings account that can cover the cost of care for at least 90 days.
    • Step Five: Once you have passed the out-of-pocket (elimination) period, you’ll be able to begin collecting your benefit. The insurance company will pay out only after this time has passed and you have begun receiving the care you need. Many policies will only pay up to a specified daily limit until the lifetime maximum is reached.

    How to Buy Long-Term Care Insurance

    Purchasing a long-term care insurance policy is a big decision to make that requires thorough research. Before purchasing a policy, ensure the provider can demonstrate financial strength, customer satisfaction, and offers term flexibility to meet your financial needs. If you’re an at-risk individual (i.e. smokers, seniors, and patients with pre-existing conditions), you’ll want to select a provider that does not require a medical exam for coverage. When buying a long-term care insurance policy, you will need to first submit an application to the insurance carrier and wait for approval before selecting the terms of your policy.

    If you happen to work for an employer that provides long-term care benefits to its employees, you should research the plan’s offerings thoroughly to ensure they’re able to meet your needs. While employer-sponsored benefits are usually much more affordable, they may not always be the best option in terms of providing the desired amount of coverage. Consult with an insurance agent to understand what features you need the most and compare the results of that conversation with the breadth of coverage your employer’s plan is able to provide.

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    About the Authors

    Carly Severino is a writer for Reviews.com with over 15 years of experience. Over the last four months, she has covered homeowners insurance, auto insurance, internet providers, and more. She writes about insurance and personal finance and her work has been featured in publications such as Bankrate, The Simple Dollar and Coverage.com. The Best Internet Providers of 2020 is Carly’s favorite story on Reviews.com.

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