Transamerica Long-term Care Insurance
Caption: Transamerica Long-term Care Insurance

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.

Pros
  • 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

Cons
  • 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
Transamerica TransCare III Standard Benefits
Out-of-Pocket expenses paid unless otherwise noted
Benefit Description
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.

Transamerica logo

Source: Transamerica

Transamerica Complaints

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.

Transamerica Q&A

  • 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:

    1. You need considerable supervision to protect you from threats to your health and safety due to a severe cognitive impairment.

    2. 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.

Conclusion

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.

Transamerica Reviews

Recent Reviews

April 27 2020 4:52PM

My husband and I have had the Transamerica LTC policy for years. He recently had to go to a skilled nursing home because I could no longer care for him at home. I am having a nightmare just trying to get a claim started. REALLY! My husband has Parkinson's with dementia. He has hallucinations and is delusional. He has many other health problems as well. He has many falls because of his Parkinson's and his care has simply reached the point that he needs more help than I am able to provide.

This was a plan that was advertised with our local credit union (which we use for all our banking needs). Every time I call for a status update (which I feel they should contact me per phone call if needing more information) I speak to different people and usually 3-5 with every call. So dysfunctional and nothing more than sending me in circles to be told the same thing : which means they do not know either!

I trusted the sale representative and so did my husband when we took this plan. We are both covered and felt this was a wise investment for our possible future needs. WELL, I have one problem after another trying to get the claim started. You do not have a representative to help you with this process. I am on hold for a long time and then have multiple transfers with more hold time.

We are in lock down because of the corona virus still in our state. They would not accept information via email attachments and stated information needed to be mailed or faxed. Well we do not have a fax, so I sent the information to the nursing home and the social worker printed the attachments and faxed them to the company to get the claim started. After they denied receiving the information via fax two times, I mailed the information with a received at address notice from the USPS. They have denied receiving documents every time they have been sent.

Now I am waiting for the "eligibility dept" to review the request and decide if this meets the claims. I was told if they deny I can file an appeal. I requested a supervisor, manager or representative to speak with about this process. I was told that the eligibility department does not take any incoming calls and does not make an outgoing call. I was also told it can take 7-10 days to make determination and then they will MAIL a letter. I was also told that they do not know how long it takes to receive any payment for claims submitted. There is no source of help to maneuver this maze process.

I feel that this is a scam to get people to give up from the frustrations! We have invested lots of money in premium payments over the years, This is a stressful and difficult time for my husband and myself. I will not give up on this claim. My next step will be to figure out how to file a complaint with insurance governing bodies (if there is any for long term care insurance plans). I am making a notebook of calls and frustrations for our children. If I use my plan they will need to know the frustrations encountered. I will keep working at trying to get the payments we are entitled to for my husband. His last premium was paid on the due date; which was also the date he was admitted to the skilled nursing home.

I realize from the other reviews that will be difficult for me to receive a refund of money paid. They bill in advance so the 3 months we paid on the date he was admitted should all be refunded minus the 1 day of that cycle. I plan to contact the bank so they will not allow any more automatic payments for future billing. I read that others have had difficulty with billing continuing even when the person has died. I would not recommend this Long Term Insurance company to anyone!! I would have given a zero if that was an option.

Karen Z.
East Peoria, IL
April 18 2020 10:03PM

After reading the above reviews I am really worried about when it comes time to have Transamerica live up to their promises for payment. It IS a Pyramid scheme! What say you, Transamerica? I have been paying into this account for about 18 years. They have a LOT of my money!

RC L.
Green Bay, WI
April 17 2020 6:27PM

This is the most dysfunctional company I have ever dealt with The claims department takes a minimum of 3 times to send a bill each month from long term care facility plus numerous phone calls. The customer service department and claims department don't communicate to each other. I faxed my Fathers death certificate twice to claims then a month later get a notice from the company that his long term care insurance will by dropped if the premium isn't paid.

Well guess what he passed away before the next premium was even due!!! When you try to call the customer service department you are on hold for 1 hr. without the option to leave a call back number. I would NEVER buy a policy from this company!!!!

Becky M.
Marshalltown, IA
April 16 2020 7:05PM

I would strongly advise against buying Transamerica Long Term Care insurance, and would caution anyone who has it and maybe trying to collect to take detailed written records of attempts to contact them. Run like a shady business, they will give you the runaround for literally months before coming forth with payments -if they ever do.

They must be coaching their employees to put you on hold for long periods of time so you will eventually give up. Or maybe they are waiting for customers to die and hoping no family members will catch their non-payment. Their entire method is to avoid paying. You will spend countless hours trying to get what your policy entitles you to. They are a shady operation out to take your money. If there are any other options look elsewhere.

Susan K.
Los Angeles, CA
February 25 2020 11:31PM

Transamerica will do ANYTHING not to pay a claim. This is a full time job as a caregiver and continues to be a nightmare. This process started over 4 months ago. I have made over 30 phone calls. I have received so much bad information during this process. We were told my parent needed 3 out the 6 levels of care or have a diagnosis.

My mom has a diagnosis of Alzheimer's. This is a cognitive impairment. They decide if this meets their "Continuous Care" guidelines. Now they are saying she does not have the need for continuous care. The memory test really didn't matter because they look at other things too. DENIED..you need to APPEAL..

They will twist anything and everything. My parents bought this policy 26 years ago so they could continue to live life and know that they would be taken care of. Instead, their children are having to fight for what they rightfully deserve.

Go visit the policy holders in their homes and you will see the level of care they need. When they are cold because they don't know how to turn up the thermostat. When they can't remember how to dial a phone for help. When they are hungry because they forget to eat or remember how to use an appliance. This is what is means to need continuous care.

MARY K.
Melbourne, FL
February 11 2020 7:03PM

Well to start, I believe that this company is horrible. Each time we call we get a different representative. Each has a different explanation for why we are not receiving any payments. When the assisted living sends a billing statement we should receive a notification from Transamerica.

We have received this notice only twice. The billing statement does not state which month the bill covers. When questioning the representative for which month it is covering they have no idea. I understand that they don’t pay in advance. Because if we die, then Transamerica would want to be refunded. Go figure!!!!

Now that we understand how frustrating this company is we are told that our payments are under evaluation. Our premium waiver is under consideration. Why????? It is stated in the policy. If you are in an assisted living apartment for over 60 days the premiums are waived. Again total frustration.

We have spoken to a manager who informed us that payment was coming our way and still nothing. We were informed that since leaving the assisted living apartment to go to skilled nursing in the same facility we now needed to start a new claim. Two consecutive months speaking to a manager and other representatives no one said anything about starting a new claim until we asked about the payments due. What is the problem?

Un S.
Stl, MO
January 09 2020 10:48PM

Have spent hours and hours on the phone and been given wrong fax number for nursing company to send claims, now they are asking for forms that licensed and insured companies do not need in the state of Florida unless they are medicare companies. Even had our credit card company tried to figure this mess out. I see by reading other comments that they are not credible. I feel that we have been treated in an unprofessional manner. HELP!!!

Bonnie G.
Delray Beach, FL
January 08 2020 10:45PM

Transamerica is a company that just can't get their collective acts together! I have a LT Care policy which I originally signed up for through my employer back in 2016. Premiums were deducted out of my paychecks and reflected in my pay stubs.

Upon retirement in November 2017, I was to receive a bill directly from Transamerica for premiums; I chose to be billed annually. Not a problem at first; I received my premium bill for fiscal 2018 in late December 2017 and I paid. That was the LAST TIME I RECEIVED A BILL! I was expecting a bill in December 2018 to pay for fiscal 2019 -- never received.

I called Transamerica that I did not receive a bill for 2019 and was told by a customer rep that they were changing accounting systems and that I would receive a bill sometime in mid-2019, but that my policy was still in effect. No 2019 bill ever came. Now with 2020 coming near, I called Trasamerica again in December 2019 to inquire about receiving a bill for fiscal 2020, as well as for fiscal 2019 which I have yet to receive. This customer rep told me that she would forward my inquiry to Accounting; that was the last I heard of anything!

As of January 8, 2020, I have received or heard nothing! I was willing and ready to pay for both 2020 and 2019, just send me the bill. Oddly, in both 2018 and 2019, Transamerica did send me notices that my premium would be increased (I have a 3% inflation rider)...but no bill! I realize now after reading these less than stellar reviews that I dodged a bullet from Transamerica.

If they can't get it together to send me a bill so they can get paid and profit from my business, then I can only guess how much worse it will be if I ever had to file a claim and hope to be reimbursed! LT Care insurance is very important and should be a part of everyone's financial plan; just not with Transamerica. I will be looking elsewhere. Thank you.

Kendall S.
SOMERSET, NJ
January 08 2020 12:23AM

My mother in law has this insurance for nursing home. They dont pay! We fight with them every month. Now they owe her for 2 months and she has premium waver, well that's a joke, they owe her for 2 payments they took out of her account. We have called the insurance commissioner of North Dakota to help us but they get a run around like we do. Going to call the attorney general to see if he can help. DON'T BUY FROM THIS COMPANY. Horrible company.

Barb O.
Beach, ND
December 20 2019 4:50PM

Just started our first claim and experience has been awful. Finally eligibility was approved for the flat monthly benefit due to her condition. But now we need to send in a form every month, which just states she wants the benefit paid for the month. This type of benefit does not require receipts so why do we need to send in a form just confirming the benefit is still wanted? It's like they are looking for reasons to avoid or delay payment knowing the elderly cannot keep up with all their processes.

I asked, as her POA, to set up the benefit as recurring payments and we'll inform them when it should stop but the agent got rude and said this is reimb plan and the form is needed (even though we are not required to submit receipts) and if I have a problem with that, I should take it up with Consumer Affairs. Wow. AND, they still haven't paid the first pymt...said they needed a manager to correct the way the claim was incorrectly setup on their end. I was going to purchase a plan for myself until I realized that if I didn't have my own POA to fight these battles when I aged into benefits, I would never be able to get them.

June B.
Huntley, IL
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