Talking to my spouse the other day about our family histories reminded me that stroke and heart disease are two reasons more people land in skilled nursing care than anything else. We got on the subject because he had a co-worker call whose mother is in a nursing facility nearby and she wants to be home. Then we got onto the subject of long-term care insurance. It’s a subject like term insurance, that we avoid. While we were on the subject though, we did hit on something beneficial; that we can purchase a policy and share benefits.
With a long term care policy there are optional riders that allow spouses to share benefits, so if one spouse is in long term care and runs out of benefits, the benefits of the opposite spouse can be used. For example, if I were to become chronically ill and need long term care and my policy allowed for $5,000 a month for five years, but I need an additional two years of care, I can use my spouse shared benefit and use $120,000 of my spouse’s benefits. What we save is our retirement fund, and our way of life. Neither my spouse nor I are old enough to make withdrawals from our retirement accounts without penalty, but if we were to have to use any of our retirement savings for long-term care, there would be taxes and penalties to the IRS. Our long term care policy is also an affordable addition to our insurance portfolio.
The other option with the spouse shared benefit is that if either spouse dies while both policies are in force, the surviving spouse receives the remaining benefit amount. While it is a reality that one of us will die first, if we don’t use our long term care policies the surviving spouse will receive double the benefit. One of us will receive $5,000 a month for 10 years of care instead of 5.
There are other benefits for spouses with long term care insurance, too, including survivorship benefits, waiver of premiums and return of premium benefits. Call your AC Financial Adviser at (877) 435-2283 to learn more about spouse shared benefits with long term care and other insurance policies.