Long-term care can cover a wide variety of services. The need for it can arise for anyone at any time, regardless of whether they have a disability or are a senior citizen. Long-term care goes beyond normal healthcare to encompass custodial care, which includes help with daily activities like bathing, cooking and getting dressed. In turn, it involves a much more personal level of daily care than other kinds of healthcare a person might receive. There are three categories of long-term care: home care, assisted living and skilled nursing.
The question of how to pay for long term care is one that comes up often. That’s where long-term care, or LTC, insurance comes in. New York Life, Genworth and others provide insurance that typically covers services that health insurance won’t. These services can include the activities of daily living (ADLs) listed above. Some policies also cover services and care related to chronic conditions, certain diseases or impairments from unexpected accidents.
Affording a long-term care insurance policy can be relatively difficult, as premiums can be pricey. Many companies encourage looking into it and paying for a policy as early as possible, before certain health issues could disqualify you from coverage approval. Insurance costs will depend on various factors, such as age, gender, types of benefits, durations of benefits, policy types (traditional or hybrid) and even existing health conditions, to name a few.
Regular health insurance, disability insurance and Medicare are not meant to cover long-term care costs. Some ways to make up the costs include getting support from Medicaid, using a 1035 exchange plan, certain state partnership programs, various tax deductions or using an HRA to withdraw premiums.
Shopping around is important. According to the Long Term Care Insurance Price Indexes produced by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, rates for virtually identical coverage could vary by over 110%. Given all the types of long-term care insurance that are available, it helps to work with an experienced financial advisor as you make a decision.
Overview of New York Life
New York Life Insurance Co. was founded in 1845. It is the largest mutual life insurance company in the U.S., with its headquarters located in New York City. It also ranks 67th on the 2021 Fortune 500 list. One of the top three largest life insurance companies in the U.S., it employs more than 11,000 people as of 2020.
The financial strength of New York Life is relatively stable. In November 2020, it declared a dividend payout of $1.8 billion to eligible participating policyholders in 2021 (the second-largest one in company history). In addition, as of October 2020, it received the following financial strength ratings:
“A++ (Superior)” rating from A.M. Best Co.
“AAA” rating from Fitch Ratings (with a “Stable” outlook)
“Aaa” rating from Moody’s Investors Service
“AA+/Stable” rating from S&P
New York Life Long-Term Care Policy Features & Riders
According to its website, New York Life has two main types of long-term care insurance policies:
Traditional LTC Insurance: This policy is for those seeking only long-term care coverage. It covers things like care at home or in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home, or care given by certified family members. According to the site, anyone who chooses this option usually has life insurance and retirement needs already covered.
Combination LTC and Life Insurance: This is a more versatile plan, sometimes referred to as a hybrid plan. It offers long-term care coverage if needed and life insurance if LTC insurance becomes unnecessary. It can also be a mix of both of these situations. Premium payments are made over a specific period of time, and there is a money-back guarantee. However, because money is going to multiple uses, there will be less LTC coverage per dollar than with the traditional plan. Care can occur either in the home, in an assisted living facility or in a nursing home.
Although you can’t get quotes from the company’s website, there is a calculator on the website that helps estimate costs of care by region. Here are some examples:
Monthly rate for a two-bedroom unit in an assisted living facility (which includes supervision or assistance with activities of daily living):
New York City-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York: $8,477
Tucson, Arizona: $4,881
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $3,666
Portland-Salem, Oregon: $5,781
National average: $5,227
Hourly rate for a home health aide:
New York City-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York: $27
Tucson, Arizona: $27
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $25
Portland-Salem, Oregon: $31
National average: $26
Daily rate for a semi-private room in a skilled nursing home (which includes continuous nursing care and support):
New York City-Northern New Jersey-Long Island, New York: $479
Tucson, Arizona: $201
Baton Rouge, Louisiana: $211
Portland-Salem, Oregon: $363
National average: $273
For someone who needs financial support based on those estimates, it’s a good idea to look into insurance policies. New York Life premium costs will vary because they are determined by age at the time of purchase, amount and types of coverage, length of waiting period, inflation option and any additional riders. It’s also important to remember that the later one applies for LTC insurance the higher the premiums.
New York Life product offerings vary by state. In terms of traditional long-term care insurance, there is a product bundle called NYL My Care. Additionally, NYL Secure Care offers more customizable benefits. When it comes to combination policies, New York Life’s policy is called Asset Flex, offering long-term care benefits, a death benefit (a payout to beneficiaries if the policyholder dies) or both. There are riders available, including an inflation rider.
New York Life’s Customer Satisfaction
According to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) complaint index report for this company, there were no complaints about long-term care policies in 2020. There were three each for this category in 2019 and 2018. Only closed, confirmed complaints provided by state insurance departments are used in this NAIC report.
While the Better Business Bureau (BBB) does not categorize information about complaints, its website shows that the company receives a “A-” rating. A total of 12 customer reviews currently on the site assign an average star rating of 1.33 out of 5 stars. There were 104 complaints about the company as a whole logged over the past three years. A majority of them reported a problem with a product or service, while others reported billing issues, delivery issues, guarantee/warranty issues and advertising/sales issues.
How to Contact New York Life
To contact the company and find out where there might be a physical location near you, you can call their customer service line at (800) 225-5695 or visit the company’s website at newyorklife.com.
Long-term care might be necessary for anyone, whether it is someone in older age who requires assistance, or someone of any age who suffers from an injury or chronic illness that prevents them from independently managing their daily needs. This can be an incredibly vital service for people later in life as well.
When thinking about how to pay for this care, it’s important to shop around and learn more about the different policies that are out there. New York Life offers both a long-term care plan as well as hybrid options that combine life insurance and long-term care benefits.
Tips for Planning Your Long-Term Financial Goals
If trying to plan for future care for you or a loved one makes you feel overwhelmed, consider consulting a financial advisor. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
When you apply for and receive long-term care insurance can have a huge effect on your eventual payout. Use SmartAsset’s guide for when to buy LTC insurance to learn more.
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