A Brief Look at Key LTC Riders

When shopping for long-term care (LTC) insurance, a rider can provide valuable benefits. These are provisions that can be added to an insurance policy, at an additional cost, in order to alter or expand the policy’s conditions or terms of coverage. Essentially, they allow policyholders to obtain extra protection in certain situations.
 
Below are some of the common riders that may be available for LTC insurance, along with a general description of each:

Inflation Protection

Inflation protection helps ensure that policy benefits keep up with the rising cost of health care, by increasing the benefit in line with inflation. Many LTC insurance policies offer a number of options to allow individuals of different ages or with varying degrees of risk tolerance to select the one that best fits their needs.

Sharing Coverage

Sharing coverage allows a couple to extend the provisions of their policies to share each other’s benefits. This rider maximizes the value of coverage by allowing one spouse to draw from the other spouse’s benefits, if his or her own policy is exhausted.

Return-of-Premium

The return-of-premium rider provides a benefit if the insured dies during the rider eligibility period. Premiums paid for the policy and all riders will be returned, less any amounts paid for claims incurred. The returned premiums are generally paid to the estate of the insured or to a beneficiary that is designated by the policyholder.

Nonforfeiture Benefit

Nonforfeiture benefit riders guarantee that benefits will not be forfeited in the event of nonpayment. There are two types of nonforfeiture. Contingent nonforfeiture, which may be a part of base coverage, provides a shortened benefit period/non-forfeiture benefit if your coverage lapses after a substantial rate increase. Optional nonforfeiture provides for a shortened benefit period if your coverage lapses because of nonpayment of premium for any reason, including a substantial rate increase.

Restoration of Benefits

A restoration of benefits rider will restore your policy benefit amount to the original maximum value if you recover from an illness or injury after receiving benefits. This rider may vary in the percentage of the benefit that can be restored and how long the insured must be free of treatment for benefits to be restored.

Depending on the individual, riders can provide valuable benefits to policy owners. When making long-term care insurance decisions, it is important to thoroughly evaluate coverage options and then determine what might be most appropriate for your needs.

 

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