To share Long Term Care Insurance benefits, or not to share the benefits?   Your decision will ultimately have to be made by you, but this is a review of the details to help you make an informed decision.

The Shared Care rider adds around 15% to your total plan cost, and gives you the ability to use your spouse’s benefits in the event you use up your benefits and still need care.  Nine out of ten Long Term Care claims will last for three years or less.  If you are strictly playing the odds, you could probably get away with not having the feature.  However, if your family has longevity in its genes the Shared Care rider might be a wise maneuver to increase your potential total LTC coverage at a modest cost.

Genworth Financial has one of the most affordable Shared Care riders on the market.  If you are considering them be sure to review their Shared Care option before comitting.   Genworth’s plan is similar to most carriers’ Shared Care riders.  One added bonus with Genworth is that, because it’s actually a joint policy, if offers the dual wavier of premium option. With this option, if one spouse is on claim, the other person does not pay premiums.  It will be a good idea if you are comparing companies to review the finer details in the plan to see what the exact benefits will be when adding the Shared Care rider.  Options will differ by state and company.

We encourage you to really think about what it is you are truly protecting.  Are you protecting mainly your nest egg, your spouse’s way of life, preventing being a burden to the family, or your independence?  Odds are, you are buying LTC for a combination of all those reasons.  If you can review and rank the reasons in order of importance to you, that might help you decide whether to add the Shared Care rider or not.