ARP is the leading non-profit membership organization for people fifty years old and older in the United States. According to ARP, the best type of long term care (LTC) insurance policy, which may cost you thousands of dollars a year based on your age and your health status when you apply for it, is one which:
* It is clearly explained when you will be eligible for coverage
* It is clearly explained just how your eligibility for claims will be determined
* Requites no hospitalization time to make you eligible to start receiving benefits
* Will be automatically renewed for as long as you pay the premiums, and will allow you to stop paying premiums once benefit payout begins.
* Has one "reasonable" elimination period (like a deductible; ARP defines "reasonable" as 90 days) for the life of the policy (having an elimination period keeps your premiums lower)
* Definitely covers pre-existing conditions that were disclosed when you applied
* Gives you options for inflation protection
* Permits you to downgrade your coverage if you can't afford the premiums on your current level of coverage
* Will cover Dementia
* Will pay for not less than one year of nursing care and home health care services
* Gives you the right of recision with no questions asked for a full premium refund during the first 30 days that you have the policy
ARP provides LTC policies which are underwritten by the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife). These are considered to be some of the best LTC policies in the business, as MetLife agents are highly trained and MetLife has superior assets and claims paying strength. ARP advises people who are interested in buying the best long-term care insurance policies consult either a professional and licensed insurance agent or a financial planner. If these professionals don't advise you, you run the risk of being tempted into not including some of the most important features such as those listed above because the sales agent will try to sell you on lower premiums. Lowering your premiums at the expense of any of these most important features is not worth it.
ARP has now also entered into a relationship with Genworth to provide a portfolio of long-term care coverage with limited features and benefits. These are group plans that offer coverage for significantly lower premiums. ARP group plans for LTC have fewer options than an individual plan would. The prominent features of these group plans include:
* Either a 3 or a 5 year benefit period (benefit multiplier).
* A three-year plan will only pay out 75% of your total benefit to cover home care costs.
* A 90 day elimination period for all care: this means that on average you'd have to pay approximately $ 18,000 out of your own assets and / or savings before your benefits would kick in.
* No survivorship benefit option. On individual LTC policies this is an option that states that if both spouses have a policy through ARP for 10 years and neither one has a claim during that time and one spouse dies, the surviving spouse keeps their LTC policy without having to pay any more premiums .
While this new ARP / Genworth group LTC plan may be right for some people who think they would like their long-term care insurance to have lower premiums, the limitations in features and benefits could make these policies more expensive in the long run if a policy holder needs to make a claim. It's always vitally important to remember that especially when it comes to long-term care insurance you get what you pay for. Higher premiums (with respect to your age and health status) now means greater benefits later on should you ever need to make a claim against the policy.