It’s no secret that most adults require long-term assistance as they enter their golden years. But, the sad truth is that few have the means to pay for that cost. Fortunately, there is a type of insurance that can help — hybrid life insurance. No one wants to think about themselves or their loved ones requiring long-term care for an illness, but as retirement age approaches, it’s important to prepare for the future. Long-term care policies and life insurance for seniors are products you might have questions about, and you can learn more about hybrid life insurance and long-term care policies.
Quick Look: The Best Hybrid Life Insurance and Long-Term Care Policies
The Best Hybrid Life Insurance and Long-Term Care Policies
When looking for hybrid life insurance long-term care policies, it’s important to shop around to find the right balance between premiums and benefits. Not sure where to start? We’ll walk you through the top 5 companies offering hybrid insurance policies and an additional resource for consumers.
Transamerica is a well-known name in the insurance world and its approach to life insurance and long-term care policies is more flexible than most. It offers a large range of products that can be combined to help you find the best option for long-term care and life insurance. One attractive rider that may be available in your state extends the 5-year rate guarantee for another 5 years.
IIn addition to its hybrid approach, the company also offers coverages such as long-term care annuities that can provide both investment return as well as additional peace of mind knowing funds to pay for long-term care will be available when needed.
2. Mutual of Omaha
Mutual of Omaha now offers a life insurance policy with a long-term care rider in some states. As a benefit for consumers, they offer a variety of options that enable you to mix and match quality and affordable life insurance and long-term care insurance to design your own hybrid policy.
Mutual of Omaha will assign you to an agent who can help you assess the right benefits and options for your needs and budget. Work with the agent to map out an affordable plan so you won’t have to worry about paying more than you can afford.
3. Northwestern Mutual
Northwestern Mutual is a top name in long-term care policies and life insurance and its hybrid options are some of the best on the market. It offers a variety of options for life insurance policies, depending on your specific financial needs.
Its long-term care solutions can be added on to approved life insurance products, enabling you to create your own hybrid policy. The options offered by Northwestern Mutual are competitive and match other major providers, making it a go-to option for product choices.
4. Mass Mutual
While many hybrid life insurance and long-term care policies focus mostly on money and benefits, Mass Mutual focuses on you.
Mass Mutual’s CareChoice One and CareChoice Select are whole life policies with long-term care riders. As a mutual insurance company, policyholders are eligible to receive dividends. With coverage, you may be able to choose your caregiver, rather than locking you into choosing from those approved by the insurance company.
5. New York Life
Most major long-term care and life insurance providers allow you to bundle products into hybrid coverage, but New York Life offers an affordable policy combining both. New York Life’s Asset Flex offers long-term care insurance and cheap life insurance, as well as a money-back guarantee.
Like most of New York Life’s insurance products, this plan is also one of the most flexible and affordable, offering room for customization. You can choose to pay the premium up-front or in installments over five or 10 years.
6. Best for Plan Options: Pacific Life Insurance Co.
Pacific Life Insurance Co. offers a range of policies to choose from, making them one of the more flexible life insurance companies available. This company offers a money-back refund in addition to death benefits to loved ones and long-term care coverage. You’ll be able to pick your policy’s premium as well as benefit periods and other factors of the policy.
If you’re looking to get multiple quotes so you can compare your options, Policygenius should be your first stop. This company can show you life insurance options from several of the top carriers in the business. You’ll also be able to work with specialists who can help you find a hybrid life insurance policy that will meet your budget as well as your needs.
8. Agile Life Insurance
Agile Life Insurance offers a range of life insurance plans that can start almost immediately. Unlike some of its competitors, you can get coverage without undergoing a health exam or providing your medical history — as long as you meet its age requirements. Agile Life Insurance offers long-term care benefits as well as other life insurance and disability insurance policies.
9. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co.
Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co. can provide you with benefits to pay any informal caregiver, such as a family member or friend, who provides your in-home care. You can use your benefits in any way that you need to — even if it means saving up your cash benefit for future use. If you’re qualified, you won’t even need to submit monthly bills and receipts to the company for coverage. Whether you use all of your benefits on long-term care or not, your beneficiary will be guaranteed to receive a 20% minimum death benefit.
Resource: Search for Long-Term Care Insurance Specialists
Whether you are considering hybrid or traditional long-term care insurance, prices for virtually identical amounts of coverage can vary significantly. In addition, each insurer tends to policy options, available discounts and health requirements. The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance maintains an online resource that can help you connect with an independent long-term care insurance specialist who can answer questions and provide information including costs.
How to Compare Hybrid Life Insurance
Hybrid life insurance is unique because it essentially combines 2 different insurance policies. So the first step is to find out what companies offer life insurance and long-term care insurance policies separately and which companies offer hybrid policies.
An important component to consider is whether you need a hybrid life insurance policy. A lot of this will depend on your personal circumstances, including your financial situation. If you have enough money saved up to cover any long-term healthcare costs and still provide an inheritance to family members, a hybrid policy might not be needed. However, if you want to be sure you have enough to cover all your needs, a hybrid policy might be a good thing to have.
You’ll want to look at the average cost of assisted care in your area as well as the general cost of living. This will give you some idea of the amount of money you might need. You can use this number to compare the coverage amounts each company and policy offers.
To compare policies, you’ll need to get quotes from different companies. You can do this by using a site such as Policygenius or by requesting quotes from companies individually. You can use these quotes to compare the benefits as well as the policy premiums to make your decision.
What is Hybrid Life Insurance?
In short, a hybrid life insurance policy is a unique policy that can combine life insurance with long-term care benefits. Hybrid life insurance combines long-term care insurance with life insurance, creating a more flexible policy that ensures you or your loved one will receive some form of benefit based on the premium you pay.
Types of Hybrid Life Insurance Explained
A hybrid life insurance policy offers flexible benefits for the insured and their family members. If the insured person needs long-term care, a hybrid life insurance policy can pay benefits toward those expenses. The amount the policy pays out will be based on the amount that was chosen when the hybrid life insurance policy was purchased. But if the insured person does not need long-term care, the hybrid life insurance policy will pay out a death benefit to the beneficiary upon the death of the insured person. In some cases, a hybrid life insurance policy will provide a greater amount of benefits for long-term care if it is needed.
Traditional Long-Term Care Insurance
Alternatively, you can purchase one of many long-term care policies This type of policy will cover the costs of care if you or any other insured person is diagnosed with a chronic medical condition, disability or disorder that requires long-term care. This type of care is separate from care that is covered by health insurance — instead of covering treatments, it covers daily and routine activities the insured person may need assistance with. This can include care within a nursing home or assisted living facility as well as care provided by aides and nurses within the insured person’s home.
When you purchase a hybrid life insurance policy, long-term care insurance is included.
While you often “lose” traditional insurance benefits (and the premiums you pay into the policies) if you don’t need to pay for long-term care, hybrid life insurance offers a compelling solution. With hybrid life insurance, your designated beneficiaries receive your insurance benefits in the event that long-term care is needed. If you don’t end up requiring long-term care (or if you do not use all of your eligible benefits/money), your loved ones will receive the balance in the form of life insurance payouts.
What is a Long-Term Care Policy?
A traditional long-term care policy is a type of health insurance that can be purchased to help you avoid large costs should you need long-term health care. As we get older, the chance of requiring long-term care significantly increases, making this an important insurance protection to consider.
The policies below are all worth considering as part of a sound plan. Each can offer different levels of benefits as well as costs and generally require that you meet different levels of health qualification. Hybrid long-term care insurance may combine any of the below policies:
- Traditional long-term care insurance
- Short term care insurance
- Linked benefit life / long-term care insurance
- Long-term care riders
- Chronic illness riders
- Group/multi-life policies
- LTC annuities
- Impaired annuities
Since many worry about losing the money they’ve invested if they do not use their long-term care insurance, hybrid insurance offers a solution that makes sure this money is not wasted.
Who Needs a Long-Term Care Policy?
The need for long-term care insurance varies depending on your age and health condition. If you believe you may be at high risk for developing a debilitating or chronic condition or disease that requires long-term care or nursing assistance, it’s recommended that you look into long-term care insurance.
Even if you’re healthy, once you reach retirement age, you might want to consider long-term care insurance as the costs of long-term care can be costly. Generally, little of these costs are covered by Medicare or private health insurance.
You never know when the worst may strike and knowing you can afford to pay for long-term care is well worth the cost of this valuable protection.
What Should You Look for in a Long-Term Care Policy?
When looking for the right long-term care policy, you want to consider your specific risks and budget. Are you at risk for an injury that you think might require extensive care? Does longevity run in your family? This may place you at higher risk for needing long-term care. Do you have money saved that could be used to provide care?
Your age, gender, marital status and state of health are all factors that determine your long-term care insurance policy cost. When opting for a hybrid policy, you’ll want to review plans closely to make sure they offer the full suite of benefits you’re looking for.
It’s always best to compare policies, to understand the difference between monthly premiums, as well as the benefits available to you and if and when you can qualify for a claim and benefits payments.
Here’s a quick checklist of what to review when searching for the right long-term care hybrid policy:
Price: The downside of hybrid life insurance long-term care policies is that coverage costs quite a bit more than traditional life insurance or long-term care policies on its own. This makes sense because hybrid policies combine both benefits under one umbrella. The initial policies offered typically required a single an upfront payment ranging between $60,000 to $100,000, which may not be realistic for many insurance applicants.
Many of the policies currently available offer lower-cost options with premiums paid annually or, in some cases, for a predetermined number of years, usually 10 or more. This allows you to set more affordable premiums better aligned with your financial situation. Always be sure to review the way premiums are charged when reviewing policies
Benefits: Benefits vary from policy to policy in many ways. You’ll see policies offer different benefits and some may have regulations regarding how much money can be claimed at any particular time. Be sure to review these rules before signing off on a policy.
Second, some hybrid life insurance long-term care policies have an elimination period, during which you’ll continue making making premium payments until you are eligible to receive benefits. If you’re at risk of requiring long-term care in the near future, you may prefer a policy without an elimination period or one with a very short one.
Last, you’ll want to review the different disbursement options from policy to policy. Some might cap off how much you can receive in long-term care. Others may deplete your entire available benefits paying for long-term care, leaving nothing left over for the life insurance benefit you hoped to leave for loved ones. While there’s no right answer here — you have to make the choice that makes the best sense for yourself and your family — it’s important to review your options closely.
Time of purchase: While retirement age is a perfect time to shop for hybrid life insurance long-term care policies, you can get a jump start and generally save money on your premiums by purchasing pre-retirement. The older you are when you purchase this type of policy, the higher your premium. Since older age is associated with more serious health complications, premiums tend to increase as you age. Locking in a premium between the ages of 55 to 64 can save you thousands in premium charges.
How to Buy Hybrid Life Insurance
Most insurance companies will allow you to purchase your hybrid life insurance policy online. In many cases, this can be done directly after you’ve received your insurance quote. You also may be able to purchase a policy by phone or in person.
No matter which way you prefer to make your purchase, the best first step you can take is to get a quote. You’ll need to input basic details about yourself, such as your date of birth and ZIP code, to receive your quote. When requesting a quote for a life insurance policy, you’ll also be asked about your family and medical history. Your quote will likely be generated using the terms and benefits that are suggested based on your information. You should also be able to adjust those amounts if you want to.
Once you’ve figured out which policy you want to purchase, all you need to do is follow the instructions to complete your purchase. In some cases, you may need to undergo a physical exam before an insurance company can underwrite your life insurance policy. It’s important to understand whether an exam is required as well as the timeline for your policy beginning before you make your purchase.
Is Hybrid Life Insurance Right for Me?
Hybrid life insurance is a great option for almost anybody. It combines the benefits of life insurance and long-term care policies into one, allowing you to get coverage for yourself as well as for your loved ones all within the same policy. To explore hybrid life insurance policies further, you can reach out to any of the insurance companies listed above.
Frequently Asked Questions
What are the advantages of term life insurance?
A term life policy allows you to purchase coverage at a guaranteed premium for a limited amount of time. This structure makes term life an affordable choice to protect your family if you have a financial commitment that won’t last forever, like a mortgage or the cost of raising kids. A 20-year term life insurance policy is the most popular life insurance policy purchased to protect loved ones if the unexpected happens.
What are the advantages of whole life insurance?
Whole life insurance, along with universal life insurance and some other variants, is designed to provide coverage for your entire life. This differs from a term policy that offers guaranteed premiums for a limited time. Permanent life insurance has a savings or investment element that helps the policy to build cash value, making it an asset that can be borrowed against or even sold if you no longer need the policy.
How much life insurance do I need?
Many in the industry recommend that you carry 8-12 times your annual income in life insurance coverage. A more granular approach can be beneficial, however, and accounting for debt and ongoing financial commitments in more detail when choosing a coverage amount can better provide for your family than an arbitrary multiple of earnings.
How much does life insurance cost?
No matter which type of life insurance you get, the cost will depend on a number of factors. The personal factors involved are your age, gender and medical history. It will also depend on the policy and coverage amount you choose. Submitting a request for a free quote is the best way to get an accurate idea of what your life insurance policy might cost.
Benzinga crafted a specific methodology to rank life insurance. To see a comprehensive breakdown of our methodology, please visit our Life Insurance Methodology page.