What to Look For Before Purchasing A Long Term Care Insurance Policy


In this series of Blogs, we have reviewed the fact that choices often need to be made when someone is no longer able to care for him or herself. With the statistics indicating more 70% of those reading this Blog will eventually need some kind of long term care as we age, and nearly all of us will be responsible for the long term care of someone we love we have looked at some of the aspects of Long-Term Care Insurance.

There are so many different long-term care insurance plans and insurance companies and carriers offering policies, it’s important to be sure, the plan you purchase will actually meet the needs and circumstances for you and your family. Some plans cover facilities-only care, while others cover facilities care and home care options.

Understanding exactly what type of coverage options you want is an important first step. Now it’s time to consider a few things before deciding which Long-Term Care Insurance policy is right for you or your parents. When looking for an Insurance company or an agent to purchase a long-term care insurance policy be sure to consider these issues:

Point Always get quotes from with several companies and agents

It’s a good idea to contact several companies and different agents before purchasing a policy. Compare apples with apples and be sure the quotes are for the same:

  • Benefits
  • Types of facilities you have to be in to receive coverage
    Limitations of coverage
  • Exclusions for coverage and,
  • Premiums. (Policies providing identical coverage and benefits may not always have the same premiums.)

Point Take time, compare outlines of coverage, and understand the information:

  • Don’t let anyone pressure or frighten you into making a quick decision.
  • Don’t buy a policy the first time an agent comes calling.
  • Ask the agent to give you an outline of coverage. The outline of coverage summarizes the policy’s benefits and highlights important features.
  • Compare outlines of coverage for several policies.
  • Understand the policies be sure you know what the policy covers and what it doesn’t.
  • Ask the agent any questions you might have before you buy the policy. If the agent’s answers to your questions seem vague, differ from information in the company literature, or cause any doubts about the policy, call the company and ask your questions. Never purchase insurance from an agent who claims the policy will only be offered only once.
  • There are companies that sell policies through the mail, and don’t use agents. If you decide to buy a policy through the mail, be sure to contact the company with any questions you might have about how the policy works.
  • Ask if Inflation Protection options are offered. This option of long-term care insurance coverage increases the value of benefits over time to keep up with increasing costs of care.

Point Choose a Strong Insurance Company

  • Find out what the financial rating of the insurance company is? Look for a strong and stable insurance company because this policy is being purchased now to be used 20 to 30 years in the future.
  • Look for insurance companies receiving high financial-safety marks from the insurance-ratings companies. You can online ratings from A.M. Best, Moody’s, and Standard & Poor’s.
  • Purchase Long Term Care Insurance from only those companies rated in the top two financial-strength categories by at least two of the ratings services listed above.
  • Check to be sure the insurance carrier doesn’t have a history of filing for rate increases with the state insurance departments.
  • Check to see if the policy is priced according to the most recent National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) guidelines? This will help ensure the plan’s premium has stability.

The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is administered
By Long Term Care Partners, LLC and offered by:
John Hancock Life Insurance Company, Boston, MA
Metropolitan Life Insurance Company, New York, NY
Provideds a website worksheet to help compare the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program with other insurance plans someone might be considering. The form is great for shopping around and offers space to write the provisions of another company’s plan in the Policy 2 column for a side-by-side comparison of the two plans.

If you are still following these Blogs then you clearly have a need and interest in obtaining Long-Term Care Insurance for yourself or someone you love. The next Blog in this series will review when to purchase this type of insurance and other options to consider.

Point Other Blogs In This Series:

Point Related Blogs:

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Families.com Blogs are for informational purposes only. Families.com assumes no responsibility for consumer choices. Consumers are reminded that it is their responsibility to research their choices properly and speak to a certified insurance professional prior to making any decision as important as an insurance purchase.