Long-term care insurance offers you more security to manage health and personal costs that are not covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or most private health insurance plans. It’s often best to acquire long-term care insurance before you retire, as this will give you peace of mind as you age and as the need for assistance with daily tasks increases. However, no two long-term care insurance plans are exactly alike. In this guide, we’ll take a look at the best long-term care insurance carriers in 2023 to help you make an informed decision.
There are so many long-term care insurance carriers out there, and we know that narrowing down the list of options can be a challenge. We spent hours researching plans and identifying the ones that best meet the needs of older adults. When comparing options, we focused our attention on carriers that offer competitive premiums, multiple plan options, special discounts, ample coverage, and limited age restrictions.
Though Mutual of Omaha may not be the cheapest LTC insurance carrier on the market, getting estimates of your costs up front is a huge plus. And, since the age limit is 79, there’s a good chance that you can get a policy, even if you’ve been retired for years. Keep in mind that not everyone will be eligible for a policy. If you’re recently married, you may have to wait up to three years to qualify for the couples’ discounts. Visit our Mutual of Omaha LTC insurance review to learn more!
If a National Guardian Life LTC policy is available in your state, you should strongly consider checking out their options. You can customize your benefits, and choose from a wide range of term lengths. However, if you have a family history of conditions like cancer or Alzheimer’s disease, your application could be denied. If you’re interested in learning more about this carrier, head to our 2023 National Guardian Life LTC insurance review.
Thrivent has plans for just about every budget, along with plenty of benefits if you or a loved one pass away unexpectedly. The primary downside is that you can’t file claims online. Nonetheless, Thrivent has recently expanded its offerings to more people in more states, making it easier than ever to qualify for an affordable LTC plan. You can read our latest Thrivent long-term care insurance review for a closer look at this carrier.
Nationwide is one of the best options if you want a hybrid plan or an LTC rider for your existing life insurance plan. It’s even better if you want to avoid the hassle of submitting receipts and waiting to be reimbursed. Nationwide makes it extremely easy to get your benefits, use them as you see fit, and generally skip the hassle. Not everyone will be eligible for a Nationwide long-term care insurance plan, however, since the underwriting process can be strict. All plans also automatically require a 90-day waiting period, which means you’ll pay more up front if you require long-term care. Read our 2023 Nationwide LTC insurance review for more info.
Northwestern Mutual is a great option for older couples who want ample coverage for things like nursing homes, at-home assistance, or other costs that aren’t covered by traditional health insurance. Just remember that you may have to pay a bit more for your NW Mutual plan, and you’ll only be able to get a quote if you call the carrier directly.
MassMutual is a quality insurance carrier, but its decision to discontinue new standard LTC plans has made it a bit less desirable for some seniors. Fortunately, you can still take advantage of MassMutual’s competitive rates by acquiring a hybrid plan. And if you’re already in the market for life insurance, you could save by bundling more than one type of plan from MassMutual.
New York Life offers many great benefits with its long-term care insurance plans. However, if you want to get a quote upfront, you may find New York Life’s application process to be a little slow. Nonetheless, this carrier offers excellent benefits and competitive rates, particularly during the first few years of your plan.
|Carrier||Number of policies||Issue age||A.M Best company rating||Online quotes||Online claims|
|Mutual of Omaha||2||Up to 79||A+||Yes||Yes|
|National Guardian Life||3||Up to 79||A||No||Yes|
|Thrivent||2||Up to 79||A++||No||No|
|Nationwide||3||Up to 75||A+||No||No|
|NW Mutual||2||Up to 79||A++||No||No|
|MassMutual||3||Up to 79||A++||No||Yes|
|New York Life||3||Up to 79||A++||No||Yes|
Long-term care insurance covers many services that Medicare and Medicaid do not cover, including many of the products and services required to help with activities of daily living (ADLs). These often include:
While this is not an exhaustive list, it shows some of the biggest expenses that can be covered with a comprehensive LTC policy. Keep in mind that some carriers and plans cover more than others, and there are different types of plans to consider.
For example, many carriers offer traditional and hybrid long-term care plans. With a traditional plan, you will get the standard coverage outlined in your LTC policy. In most cases, these policies work on a “use it or lose it” basis. In other words, you have to pay your premiums, and if you never end up needing long-term care, you won’t get any of that money back.
Alternatively, a hybrid LTC plan functions as both a long-term care and life insurance plan rolled into one. You get long-term care benefits, but if you don’t ever use them, you can get a death benefit paid out to your beneficiaries. In the event that you do need long-term care benefits, your policy will often still pay out a death benefit, but it will be greatly reduced. If you want to compare traditional and hybrid plans, visit our guide to the best hybrid long-term care insurance.
There are also options to get LTC “riders” added to a life insurance policy. This functions much like a hybrid policy, but the primary benefits are still dedicated to life insurance. For example, if you get a life insurance policy with a death benefit of $250,000, you can use a small portion of that amount annually to pay for long-term care. This is known as an accelerated death benefit, and the amount can vary with each plan. Just remember that whatever you do use for LTC expenses will be subtracted from the benefits your beneficiaries will see. You can visit our guide to the best life insurance plans to learn more.
The cost of long-term care insurance can vary widely and is generally based on your age, health, gender, location, and degree of coverage. According to Forbes, a 62-year-old can expect to pay about $300 per month for long-term care insurance in 2023.3 This number can vary substantially based on several factors. If you don’t anticipate needing extensive long-term care, you can opt for a policy with lower benefit maximums and more affordable monthly premiums.
When searching for a long-term care insurance policy, there are a few tips you can follow to get the most out of your plan:
The biggest drawback of LTC insurance is that you’ll pay a substantial amount per month into your policy, with no guarantee that you’ll actually reap the rewards. Some people never end up needing long-term care, and if that applies to you, you’ll essentially be paying for peace of mind.
There’s no perfect age for acquiring long-term care insurance, especially since many young people with disabilities need LTC to cover their unique expenses. However, if you don’t have a disability and simply want coverage for the future, it’s a good idea to acquire a plan sometime between 50 and 60 years of age.
Long-term care insurance is generally divided into three main types: traditional, hybrid, and life insurance with an LTC rider. Traditional is often the most affordable, but you typically won’t have any way to get your money back if you don’t require long-term care.
There are various things that long-term care insurance does not cover, and it can vary from one carrier or plan to the next. That said, some common expenses that may not be covered in an LTC insurance plan include meal prep, transportation, and general housekeeping.
Matthew is a freelance writer who has written on a wide range of topics, from personal finance to nutrition. Over the past three years, Matthew has worked extensively on articles and guides for seniors related to Medicare, insurance, and finance. He has… Learn More About Matthew Jones