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25
JAN
2013

Consumer Reports and Long Term Care Insurance

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Consumer Reports, known for their insightful knowledge of seemingly all products and services, focused their attention on the entire Long Term Care Insurance industry and product, from top to bottom, and provided characteristic insight in the form of advice aimed especially at consumers currently shopping for Long Term Care Insurance.

Consumer Reports LTC Advice:

  1. Look for a strong insurer.  In other words, Consumer Reports suggests looking for Long Term Care Insurance companies with an excellent A+or better financial rating provided by the financial stability rating companies such as AM Best, Moodys, Standard & Poors, and Weiss Rating.   At  LTC Tree, we have found that these rating companies indeed do their homework.  They have consistently provided ratings that were good precursors to spotting suspect companies who later had financial woes.  It is important to remember that a Long Term Care Insurance policy is ONLY as good as the company behind it.
  2. Include inflation protection in your Long Term Care Insurance policy.  Consumer Reports points out that most consumers buy this insurance in their 40′s and 50′s, and they might not use the benefits for thirty or forty years.  A built-in, or automatic, 5% compound inflation protection option means, for example, that a $4000/month in benefits policy today will grow to about $18,000/month in thirty years.  In other words, your benefits grow automatically if you have inflation protection, yet your premiums do not.
  3. A four-year benefit period plan should be sufficient.  Consumer Reports states that 90% of people over the age of 65 who need Long Term Care ONLY need it for five years or less.
  4. Shop around by getting quotes from at least five different long term care insurance companies.  Prices can vary significantly from company to company based on age and combination of benefits.

This last piece of advice is especially where LTC Tree can help.  In fact, LTC Tree’s very foundation is helping consumers compare long term care insurance companies.  We are independent brokers for all the A+ name brand companies such as John Hancock, Genworth, Mass Mutual, Mutual of Omaha, New York Life and Transamerica.  We can give you the apples-to-apples comparison Consumer Reports says you should get.

About the Author
Drew Nichols helped co-found LTC Tree and is licensed in all 50 states for Life & Health insurance. Drew can be reached at 1-800-800-6139.
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