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April 14, 2021
Do I Need Long-Term Care Riders on My Life Insurance Policy?

Do I Need Long-Term Care Riders on My Life Insurance Policy?

When you purchase a life insurance policy, you are likely imagining the benefits you will be able to leave behind for your loved ones after you are gone.  

However, with the addition of a long-term care rider, your life insurance policy stands to benefit you in life, as well as after you pass.  

Need Medicare or retirement planning help? The Senior Allies team specializes in Medicare health insurance as well as retirement planning. Call us today at 833-801-7999 for personalized help.

What is a long-term care rider?  

A long-term care rider is a life insurance policy add-on that creates a safety net for you and your family in the event of an unexpected illness or injury that leaves you incapacitated.  

As an add-on to your life insurance policy, a long-term care rider allows you to avoid a whole new long-term care policy, while still gaining peace of mind.  

More specifically, it will allow you to use a part of your death benefit while you are still alive to pay for long-term care expenses, such as residential care or a private nurse.  

There are two types of long-term care riders:  

  1. Indemnity: You get a lump sum from your insurance company when the rider is activated.  
  1. Reimbursement: Your insurance company reimburses your medical costs after the care.  

A long-term care benefit is activated by any diagnoses that leaves you unable to take care of yourself, such as chronic illness.  

Examples of these illnesses include:  

  • Alzheimer’s disease
  • Cancer
  • Epilepsy  
  • Multiple sclerosis  
  • And more  

In order for a chronic illness to be deemed severe enough to require a long-term care rider, you typically need a medical professional to decide that you are incapable of independently completing two or more of the six Activities of Daily Living.

These activities are:  

  • Eating
  • Bathing
  • Dressing
  • Using the bathroom
  • Transferring from bed to a chair or other location  
  • Maintaining continence  

It usually takes about 90 days to prove impairment before the insurance company starts paying long-term care costs in this situation.

What is the difference between a long-term care rider and a living benefit?  

To put it simply, a long-term care rider is a type of living benefit. A “living benefit” is any sum from the death benefit of your life insurance policy that can be accessed before you pass away for a specifically targeted purpose.

A long-term care rider is a benefit that specifically targets the cost of – you guessed it – long-term care.  

However, there are a variety of different living benefits that differ per provider, including chronic illness coverage.  

What effect does a long-term care benefit have on a life insurance policy?  

Depending on your specific policy, having a long-term care rider on your life insurance plan can have several effects.  

Primarily, if you use up or max out the long-term care benefit, the death benefit that is supposed to go to the beneficiary of your life insurance policy may be significantly decreased, as the money comes from the same pot.

Additionally, extra coverage means extra premiums. Long-term care riders can raise the cost of your life insurance policy, but it can be worth it depending on your health, income, and physical location.  

Are there alternatives to a long-term care rider?

Every situation is different, so it’s always worthwhile to shop around with a trusted agent to figure out what long-term care solution is best for you.  

There are several alternatives to a long-term care rider, including the following:  

  • Stand-alone long-term care insurance
  • Chronic illness riders
  • Short-term care insurance

Long story short — the best plan for you will always be dependent on your specific situation. Lucky for you, Senior Allies is here to help you figure out exactly what the right move is.  

Who has the best life insurance with a long-term care rider?  

Life insurance with a long-term care rider is a great alternative to traditional long-term care insurance depending on your specific circumstances.  

Here are a few companies that offer life insurance policies with living benefits:  

As usual, your insurance needs are best filled by someone who knows your situation, which is why talking to a trusted agent is best! No policy is one-size-fits-all, so the best company is whichever has the best benefits for your situation.  


We are here to serve you! Senior Allies can run a free, no obligation quote of life insurance with a long-term care rider. With our best-in-class knowledge, we can let you know exactly what plan is right for you.  

Call now!

Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday
Luke Hockaday is a Customer Success Rep here at Senior Allies. Luke has been helping Medicare-eligible clients with their insurance and retirement-planning needs since 2011. Luke is passionate about 3 things, and 3 things only: senior insurance, football, and food!

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