Choosing which long term care insurance company is right for you can be a challenging task. When choosing which carrier to purchase a long term care insurance policy from, there are a number of different criteria you may consider before making your decision. The following are few of the different criteria to consider when choosing a long term care insurance company:
- Financial Strength. All insurance companies have been rated by one or more financial rating agency. Rating agencies like Standard and Poor’s, A.M. Best, and Moody’s review the financial condition of a carrier and issue a grade. The higher the grade the better the perceived financial stability of the insurance company. However, instead of relying solely on the ratings offered by these agencies we would encourage you to do your own research or work with our professional advisors to learn more about the financial strength of an insurance company you may be considering.
- Premium or Cost. In most cases, the cost of a policy will be the primary factor when it comes to determining whether or not you should purchase a long term care insurance policy. It is important to make sure that before you decide to purchase the least expensive policy you understand what you are buying. Most long term care insurance policies are not designed exactly the same. This is why it can be extremely important to work with a group, like Long Term Care Insurance Info, that is knowledgeable in this area of planning.
- State Availability. Each time an insurance company wants to sell a policy in a state it must be approved by that states Department of Insurance. What this means is that in some states you may have more or less options than those in other states.
- Partnership for Long Term Care. A number of states have adopted a long term care insurance partnership program. This is a private/public alliance amongst state governments and insurance companies to provide a way for Medicaid to work with private long term care insurance companies.
- Rate History. When acquiring long term care insurance it is important to purchase a policy that is guaranteed renewable. This means that as long as premium payments are made on time the insurance company can never take the coverage away from you. However, under most, if not all, long term care insurance policies, an insurance company does maintain the right to increase the premium payment for that coverage provided the increase is approved by the state and the increase is for an entire risk class. Because long term care insurance companies maintain the right to increase premiums it is important to have a general understanding of a long term care insurance company’s rate increase history.
- Policy Features and Benefits. The features and benefits available from a long term care insurance policy not only vary by company, but by product. A few of these features and benefits include premium discounts, shared benefits, cash benefits, and return of premium.
Before determining which long term care insurance company is right for you, it is important to identify what long term care goals and objectives you might have. For example, you may feel more strongly about having a policy with a cash benefit than having a policy from a company who has the best financial strength. Based on these two factors you would receive very different recommendations on which company to buy a policy from.