This blog post is designed to provide general information on the subjects covered. It is not, however, intended to provide specific estate planning, insurance, tax or legal advice. Please note that LTC Consumer and its representatives do not give financial planning, tax or legal advice. You are encouraged to consult with your tax advisor or attorney concerning your own situation.

Should You Buy Long Term Care Insurance with Your Spouse?

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Statistics tell us a healthy female, age 65, has a 67% chance she will live to age 90 and a 38% chance she will live to age 951.

It’s no surprise that women typically live longer than men and require more care. So does this mean only one spouse should be covered by long term care insurance? Not necessarily. We’ll explain why.

In most cases, we recommend you buy long term care insurance with your spouse to cover your full risk and take advantage of extra benefits or incentives. If you’re on the fence about applying for coverage with your spouse, the following are a few discounts and incentives you may want to consider.

You Receive Discounted Rates

Most insurance companies reward married couples who apply together and are approved for coverage by offering discounted rates. Discounts may vary by carrier and can save you up to 30% on your premium resulting in significant savings over the life of your policies.

Since gender-based pricing entered the market a few years ago, costs for females have increased significantly to account for women living longer and needing more care. This break in premium for spouses is a great incentive to lower the rate and ensure you’re both covered in the event you need care together or at separate times.

Shared Care Spreads the Coverage

You share everything with your spouse, why not share your long term care benefits? Shared Care is an additional rider that can be added to your policy when you and your spouse are approved for coverage.

This valuable benefit acts as a bridge between both of your policies allowing you to share each other’s pool of money. If one of you uses your entire benefit, you can dip into your spouse’s policy for more coverage. Essentially, shared care can double your long term care benefit.

For example, Mr. and Mrs. Johnson purchase $200,000 each in long term care benefits. Mr. Johnson uses all of his $200,000 while Mrs. Johnson’s policy remains untouched. Because they added Shared Care, Mr. Johnson can access her benefits for additional coverage.

Survivorship Pays Up

Survivorship is another optional rider that can be added to policies when both spouses apply and are approved for coverage. When one spouse dies, Survivorship allows the surviving spouse to have a paid up policy. In other words, all future premiums for the surviving spouse are forgiven. These riders typically require the policies to be in place for seven to ten years before a spouse dies to be eligible to be paid up.

Survivorship can be expensive and is not for everybody. Though this added protection may be beneficial when there’s a large discrepancy in age between you and your spouse.

For example, a much older husband is statistically more likely to leave a younger bride with many years of life left after his passing. Survivorship ensures her future care needs are secure with a paid up policy. These are hard facts to face, but important to consider when applying for coverage together.

Still wondering if you should apply with your spouse? When financial constraints only allow one spouse to be covered, we believe some coverage is better than none. Get an instant quote for you and your spouse today and speak with an LTC Specialist to consider your best options.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can help them.

1Genworth Financial. A2000 Basic ANB Mortality Table with Scale AA mortality improvement.

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