[NOTE: This article assumes general familiarity with long term care insurance (LTCI).
If you are new to the topic, feel free to read some of our other articles first.]
The majority of those who buy Long Term Care Insurance do so as a couple. In fact, 75% of all buyers who purchased through LTC Consumer so far this year were couples! The typical scenario is that the man in a relationship gets sick or hurt earlier and the partner is there to help provide care. He may not need in home care from a professional for very long or at all because his partner is there to help. If he dies, who is there to care for the partner? Shared Care is a feature that helps couples receive the most out of their coverage by combining their benefits. Any portion of the benefits that are not used by a spouse who passes away automatically transfer to the surviving partner at NO ADDITIONAL COST!
Couples buying LTCI together also get significantly larger discounts- up to 30%. In most states, this applies not only to married spouses, but to any adult partners living together who qualify for coverage.
Shared Care does increase the cost of the policy for both partners, typically between 15-26% and brings a lot of flexibility in plan design for a couple. Without this feature added once a partner dies their policy and benefits dies with them, leaving only what the surviving spouse purchased.
For example, a couple who bought Shared Care each have a $100,000 benefit. Together they can use $200,000 of benefits. If one partner dies suddenly then the full $200,000 of benefits is available for the surviving partner. Without Shared Care, the surviving partner would only retain their original policy’s benefits of $100,000.
Also, most carriers will let you undo this and revert to individual policies, in the case of a divorce or other changing circumstances.
LTC Consumer’s Instant Quote tool does not include Shared Care as an option and is one of the reasons we encourage you to speak with a Consumer Specialist who can explain and price these and other unique features before you buy. This service is always free with no obligation.
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.