John Hancock had been a leader in Long-Term Care Insurance for a long time until they discontinued sales of individual Long-Term Care Insurance. John Hancock administers the federal government's long-term care plan for government employees and families. In addition, John Hancock offers qualified long-term care riders on various life insurance products.
If you own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy from John Hancock, remember LTC Insurance is guaranteed renewable, so once issued, it can not be canceled by the insurance company as long as the premium continues to be paid.
There are variations between the policy language and benefits between the many companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance; however, the primary features and benefit choices are comparable from company to company. Premiums and underwriting criteria vary dramatically between insurance companies.
When comparing long-term care insurance, you should recognize the differences between John Hancock and other companies. John Hancock administers the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance plan and offers riders on their life insurance with an accelerated deather benefit for long-term health care.
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) does offer comprehensive benefits. Federal government employees and retirees can purchase the group John Hancock product as a voluntary benefit with the ability to pay the premium through payroll withholding. Full underwriting at the time of application is required for all applications.
Like all Long-Term Care Insurance policies, the policy is guaranteed renewable for life and may never be canceled unless you fail to pay the premium. This means if you leave your job or retire, your policy can go with you as long as you continue to pay the premium.
The federal plan only offers a daily benefit to pay for your future care. Most companies offer monthly benefits, which is vital because of how care at home is delivered.
The federal plan does not offer shared benefits for spouses/partners or provide spousal discounts.
John Hancock/Federal Employee LTC Plan Features and Benefits:
- Daily benefits from $50 to $450
- Offers a benefit pool up to $821,250 (based on $450 a day with a five year benefit period - Choose between 2 years, 3 years, and 5 year benefit periods
- Two inflation options - 3% compounded and a purchase option
- 90-day elimination period
- Unlicensed caregivers are covered as long as it is not a spouse or partner; other conditions apply
- Full international benefits
Federal employees should shop around before purchasing the FLTCIP John Hancock plan. The federal plan is NOT partnership certified in any state - meaning you will not have access to the additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection that the partnership program offers.
Remember, there are no spousal discounts available or shared spousal/partner plans that are very popular for couples and can save them money and add additional benefit flexibility.
The FLTCIP has had multiple premium increases. Unlike all other available Long-Term Care Insurance plans, the Federal Government Long-Term Care Plan administered by John Hancock does not have to ask approval with any state insurance department for rate increases.
The trigger for benefits has a big wrinkle. In addition to the requirement of your doctor certifying your need for help with two of six activities of daily living or supervision due to cognitive impairment, the policy adds the words, "and we agree."
The wording in the policy places a federal gatekeeper involved in approving a potential claim. While in most situations, this would not be an obstacle, in some cases, it could.
If you own a FLTCIP policy and seek help submitting a claim, LTC NEWS offers free - no-obligation assistance - including help finding quality caregivers and facilities. Since most agents have little or no experience in this area, this assistance can be beneficial for the entire family - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News
John Hancock uses a foreign based call center for claims - getting help will speed up the process.
Big Benefit of the FLTCIP
Other than the convenience of payroll deduction of your premiums, the most significant positive benefit of the John Hancock/federal plan is full international benefits. However, you must be an employee of the federal government, a retiree of the federal government, or a spouse in order to apply for coverage.
Be sure to speak with a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to compare the federal plan with other major plans.
John Hancock Hybrid
The John Hancock life option is not one of the more competitive in the market, although many consumers like the financial power and experience of John Hancock.
A single premium gives you either a death benefit or a long-term care benefit. The long-term care rider on the John Hancock life policy allows you to choose the total amount of long-term care coverage you would like to have in place.
The plan generally provides a much larger death benefit and lacks a strong long-term care benefit. The policy comes with an assumed rate of return that will impact the performance of your policy if they don't meet.
Most experts suggest that if you are interested in a combination of life and long-term care plan, other companies have better available options.
Partnership benefits are not available for either the FLTCIP plan or the John Hancock life insurance options. Without the partnership certification, you lose the additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection.
You can learn more about the federal/state partnership program and other state-specific information on long-term care by finding your state on the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator.
Find State-Specific Information
You can learn more about the federal/state partnership program by going to the LTC NEWS Cost of Calculator. Each state has a state-specific page that includes the current and future cost of long-term care services, available tax incentives, information on care providers, and other important information - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News.
Shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance?
When shopping for Long-Term Care Insurance coverage, keep in mind, numerous state and federal regulations impact Long-Term Care Insurance. Each state's department of insurance regulates products and premiums. Because of regulation, an insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor cannot give a consumer a special discount that is not available otherwise.
Be sure to use all the tools and resources available on LTC NEWS to help you in your research - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
There are more similarities than differences when it comes to features and benefits. However, options and benefits vary from company to company, and premiums can vary between companies by over 100% when comparing equal benefits.
Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten, and every company has its own underwriting rules which determine insurability and rate class. An experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will understand these underwriting rules when helping you select the best company and policy options.
Be sure to seek the assistance of a qualified Long-Term Care Specialist to compare the features, benefits, and costs of each policy. You can find
a trusted and qualified specialist that represents the major insurance companies that offer these products - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Since your health is a primary consideration in determining your eligibility for coverage, it is always best to start planning before retirement when health is usually better. An experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist will ask you several questions about your health to provide you with accurate quotes and professional recommendations.
Please note: Since every company has different underwriting rules, you could be eligible for coverage with one company and not another.
Because Long-Term Care Insurance is custom-designed, you can design the plan to fit your specific needs, concerns, and budget. A specialist will help you develop your plan to address your concerns. Generally, you can design a plan to meet some or all of these common goals:
- Safeguard income and savings
- Protect the lifestyle of your spouse/partner
- Provide options for quality care
- Reduce the stress and burdens otherwise placed on family members
- Give your adult children time to be family
- Provide a legacy for loved ones
State variations may apply.