Transamerica Long-Term Care Insurance Review
Transamerica opened in 1904 as a small bank, then grew to make financial services available to anyone as the Bank of America. A little over two decades later, the company ventured into the insurance industry so customers could handle their banking and insurance conveniently in one place. The Bank Holding Company Act of 1956 required Transamerica to choose to offer banking or insurance services, and the company opted to remain in the insurance field with long-term care insurance as one of many financial protection products.
Today, Transamerica is a leader in the insurance industry and ranks among the top 10 long-term care insurance companies with nearly 300,000 policies in force. Transamerica’s TransCare III Long-Term Care insurance offers many benefits and rider options, explained below. The company also sells life insurance, mutual funds, annuities and other retirement savings solutions.
Transamerica Life Insurance Company earned impressive marks for long-term financial stability from AM Best, Fitch, Moody’s and S&P Global. Transamerica’s parent company, Aegon, is also highly rated for financial stability.
Transamerica offers coverage regardless of age. TransCare III Long-term Care insurance helps to protect your finances from life’s unexpected circumstances and the high costs of long-term care services.
- Wide selection of riders to customize your long-term care policy
- Sign up for coverage as early as age 18 or as late as age 79
- Plans don’t lapse due to age or health changes
- 3-year automatic rate guarantee
- No online quotes on website
Transamerica TransCare III Long-Term Care Standard Benefits
Long-term care insurance plans typically have maximum daily benefits (MDB), elimination periods (EP) and policy maximums. The MDB caps the amount paid out each day, and the EP is a waiting period between when you become ill or injured and when the insurance starts paying benefits. Policy maximums define the amount of time over which benefits are paid or limit the total dollar amount in benefits over the life of the policy. MDB, EP and policy maximums vary depending on the coverage you decide to buy. Some of the benefits with all TransCare III Long-Term Care insurance policies are subject to these limitations, which is standard practice.
TransCare III Long-Term Care policies include these basic care benefits:
- Long-Term Care Facility: pays for each day of nursing home care or another qualifying facility.
- LTC Facility Bed Reservation: pays when the insured is absent for any reason except discharge from a long-term care facility. Reserves a room up to 60 days per year.
- Home Care/Adult Day Care (HC/ADC): pays for care in the insured’s home or at an adult day care.
Some TransCare III Long-Term Care standard benefits protect you from premium costs, like the ability to reduce benefits or the benefit period if premiums rise substantially. Another notable feature is should you die before turning 67 years old, your beneficiary receives a payment in the amount of all premiums paid minus the value of claims paid out.
Building a Transamerica TransCare III Long-term Care Policy
A snapshot of Transamerica’s TransCare III policy features include:
- Issue Ages: 19-79
- MDB: $50-$500 except for Vermont ($75-$500), Wisconsin ($60-$500) and Massachusetts ($50-$500 unless you’re a Mass Health participant, in which case it is $125-$500).
- Maximum Amount (Pool of Money): $18,250-$1,095,000 for all states except the Pool of Money in Maryland, Massachusetts, and Oregon is between $36,500 and $1,095,000; in Vermont $27,375 and $1,095,000; and in Wisconsin $21,900 and $1,095,000.
- Payment Method: Lifetime
|Cash Benefit||Pays cash each month equal to 10 times the MDB in place of all other benefits, except Optional Care Coordination|
|Accident Benefit||Pays up two times the MDB for qualified long-term care services if you are injured before your sixty-seventh birthday. No combining with some other benefits|
|Respite Care Benefit||Pays for temporary stays in a long-term care facility, community-based program like adult day care, or in-home care, up to 30 days per year|
|Remain at Home Benefit||Reimburses costs for home modifications, volunteer caregiver training, therapeutic devices or technology, or a medical alert system. Lifetime maximum equal to 60 times the MDB|
|Alternate Plan of Care Benefit||Gives Transamerica the discretion to consider new, alternative long-term care services not covered when policy is issued|
|Waiver of Premium Benefit||Monthly premiums waived once LTC facility, Accident Benefit, HC & ADC, Cash Benefit or Hospice Care benefits begin|
|Hospice Care Benefit||Pays out of pocket expenses for each day of care from a hospice care provider, up to 180 days|
Transamerica Long-Term Care Insurance Optional Riders
TransCare III Long-Term Care offers several benefit riders you can add to your policy to receive a customized long-term care insurance plan.
Nonforfeiture Benefit: Allows the insurance plan to continue on a limited basis if you stop paying premiums. The policy must be in effect for a minimum of three years to use the Nonforfeiture Benefit Rider.
Return of Premium Upon Death: This rider must be continuously in force from its effective date. The policy beneficiary receives a payment when you die amounting to the sum of all premiums paid minus payments you waived and benefits paid out.
Monthly Benefit: This rider pays monthly instead of daily benefits.
Shared Care: Couples with identical Transamerica long-term care insurance policies can share benefits if one exhausts their benefits.
Full Restoration of Benefits: This one-use rider restores benefits when claims are paid in full unless the insured is chronically ill and hasn’t received qualified long-term care services for 180 consecutive days.
Joint Waiver of Premium: Couples who hold identical long-term care policies with Transamerica can waive premiums during the same months.
Elimination Period Credit: This rider can lessen or satisfy your elimination period with credit for days you received the HC or ADC Benefit.
Transamerica Long-Term Care Payment Options
Transamerica offers several payment options on TransCare III Long-Term Care plans. You can opt to pay annually, twice yearly, quarterly or each month. Your premium payment method must be approved during the underwriting process before your application gets approved.
The Better Business Bureau gives Transamerica a “B”. Many reviews sites rate Transamerica long-term care insurance well. We saw ratings of 9 out of 10 stars with one site rating Transamerica the “Best for Affordable Policies.” The company has a 1.6 out of 5 stars on ConsumerAffairs.com based on 64 reviews. The majority of the complaints seem to revolve around being denied coverage and policyholders who felt it took too long for the insurance to pay out. TheBalance lists Transamerica among the top four long-term care insurance companies, citing affordable benefits starting as low as $18,000 and no waiting period for home health benefits when provided by an approved agency.
How do I purchase long-term care insurance from Transamerica?
You can talk to an independent insurance agent about a TransCare III Long-Term Care policy or call Transamerica at the number on the website to ask questions and apply.
Does Transamerica offer any discounts on long-term care insurance?
The discounts Transamerica offers can lower your long-term care insurance premiums substantially. Transamerica offers a couples discount of up to 30 percent if spouses or partners apply together and are both approved for TransCare III Long-Term Care. You may qualify for a 15 percent discount if you are part of a couple and only you apply for a policy. If you’re in good health and satisfy specific health-related underwriting criteria, you may be eligible for up to a 10 percent discount.
Why should I consider TransCare III Long-Term Care insurance when I have Medicare?
Transamerica long-term care insurance is designed specifically to protect you financially from the costs Medicare doesn’t pay for when it comes to long-term care. Even Medicare Supplement insurance does not cover many long-term care expenses.
If my spouse and I get the shared care rider on a Transamerica long-term care policy, what happens to the benefits when one of us dies?
If one TransCare III Long-Term Care policyholder with the shared care rider dies, the remaining pool of money transfers to the survivor with no further premium payments on the rider.
When would I receive benefits from Transamerica long-term care insurance?
There are two ways policyholders qualify for TransCare III Long-Term Care benefits:
You need considerable supervision to protect you from threats to your health and safety due to a severe cognitive impairment.
You need substantial assistance performing at least two of the six Activities of Daily Living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring to and from the bed) for at least 90 days due to a loss of functional capacity.
According to the Administration on Aging, 69 percent of all seniors will need on average three years of long-term care at some point in their life. With long-term care costs currently ranging from $20 an hour for homemaker services to $7,698 per month for a private room in a nursing home, the expenses add up quickly and could wipe out retirement savings altogether. TransCare III Long-Term Care insurance from Transamerica can help you plan for retirement years with confidence while removing financial stress from your loved ones.