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 National Guardian Life (NGL) and other companies.
NGL is a mutual company founded in 1909 with nearly $5 billion in assets. They are known for outstanding customer service.
As a highly rated and respected company, National Guardian Life offers a full-featured policy that includes two return of premium options and unlimited long-term care benefits. NGL is very price competitive, especially for couples in the Long-Term Care Insurance market for A rated companies.
AM Best has upgraded NGL's Financial Strength Rating to A (Excellent) from A- (Excellent). This rating reflects the company's ability to meet its ongoing insurance policy and contract obligations and attests to its financial strength.
Refreshed Rates for New Policies Started April 1, 2021
National Guardian will be making changes in their current product, and this includes a new premium structure. On average, the updated product is expected to be about 25% more than the current product.
This increase has NO impact on any existed policy or application. Not every state will approve the new refreshed rates simultaneously, but the first group of states was effective on April 1, 2021 starting with the following 38 states:
AK, AL, AR, CO, GA, IA, ID, IL, KS, KY, LA, MA, MD, ME, MI, MN, MO, MS, NC, NE, NH, NM, NV, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, TN, TX, UT, VA, VT, WA, WI, WV, WY.
Special Note about Washington State
NGL has discontinued selling Long-Term Care Insurance for those under the age of 40 in the State of Washington. In addition, it required minium benefits and premium for all ages. This rule will continue through November 1, 2021.
NGL Features and Benefits
Recent changes with several other insurance companies makes National Guardian Life a great value for many people. National Guardian Life offers several features and benefits consumers and Long-Term Care specialists alike look for in a long-term care insurance policy. These benefits include:
- Partnership benefits in most states
- Daily benefits options from $50 to $300 a day
- Inflation benefit options including are 3% and 5% compounded - you can select no inflation benefit as well
- Shared Care Benefit featuring a third pool of money
- Return of Premium option minus claims paid
- Ten Pay Premium Option with guaranteed never to increase premium
- Elimination period options includes 30, 90, and 180 days
- Pool or money or unlimited benefit options
- Facility only benefit option available
NGL offers one policy for couples with one premium. Each individual has their own separate long-term care benefit. If shared care is added to the policy, the couple will share a third pool of money if they exhaust their own benefit pool. Generally, this provides a larger amount of benefits available to the couple than other shared benefit plans.
With couples, when one spouse goes on claim the full premium is waived, The premium will reduce slightly if one spouse dies. You also have the option to pay ten level premiums and have a fully paid policy. In addition, you can add a return of premium rider.
NGL does offer Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance plans in most states. Partnership policies provide additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. You can learn more about the federal/state partnership program by finding your state on the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator - click on your state.
Find the current and future cost of long-term care services where you live, along with the availability of partnership plans and tax incentives by clicking here.
Keep in mind, numerous state and federal regulations impact Long-Term Care Insurance. Each state's department of insurance regulates premiums. Because of regulation, an insurance agent or financial advisor is not able to give a consumer a special discount which is not available otherwise.
There are more similarities than differences when it comes to features and benefits. However, options and benefits do vary from company to company. Premiums can vary between companies by over 100% when comparing equal benefits.
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 who represents the major insurance companies that offer these products by clicking here.
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 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.