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

October 20 2019 6:49PM

Wow~ lots of negative comments... My husband and I have had this coverage for almost 20 years. I'm concerned that we will have these same problems when the time comes to use the benefits. We are not eligible health-wise to make a change....yikes..

Kathy C.
Medford, OR
September 27 2019 6:31PM

Consistent with all the other bad reviews. No direct phone numbers or email addresses for the claims department, average hole wait is well over 45 minutes. Once, it was 1 hour and 16 minutes. No return calls for two or more weeks at a time. No claim numbers or paperwork issued. Wow.

Thomas S.
Gilbert, AZ
September 23 2019 10:15PM

The worst company ever.... DO NOT BUY TRANSAMERICA LONG TERM CARE INSURANCE!!! After months of frustration, my mother was approved, then waited the 90 day "elimination period", received 4 checks which took 45 days to process.... It's Sept. 23 and waiting on July payment? Customer service is almost nonexistent, literally takes HOURS to speak to a representative! They are definitely waiting for my mother to die! What a rip-off company!

Kim M.
Westminster, CA
September 11 2019 8:17PM

The policy is good, the customer service process is slow and awful...it takes hours to get information! Then the only person who makes decisions is someone named a "specialist" who has no phone access and seems to be overwhelmed to the point that it takes more than a week to read and process a fax.

They paid a claim on the wrong dates and gave me 2 years more money than they were supposed to...now we have to wait while they fix the problem!! I have a part time job just managing benefits with Transamerica.

Janice R.
Minden, NV
August 29 2019 2:58AM

Dealing with Transamerica regarding my mother's long term care policy has been & continues to be a nightmare. The customer service is absolutely terrible. TA decided to stop paying mother's LTC benefits after her being in assisted living for 18 months!

How has my 87 year old mother improved, she hasn't, she has macular degeneration and is now legally blind. I filed an appeal 4 months ago, still no decision. We waited 14 months to sell the home she dearly loved, just in case some crap like this happened. I consider what they are doing ELDER ABUSE.

She & my father paid premiums for 20 years and now this! It is outrageous. In the process of gathering all my info for the insurance commissioner. SHAME, SHAME, SHAME ON TRANSAMERICA!

L W.
STOCKBRIDGE, GA
June 11 2019 12:46AM

This is ABSOLUTELY THE WORST company to deal with! My parents paid their premiums for her 30 years, always on time! Their premiums were raised several times, but they kept paying. Now my father has dementia and is getting in home care, which was approved by Transamerica. But getting them to actually pay for the care is a nightmare. They currently owe my mother about$10,000! They always have an excuse; "they didn't get the paperwork", "something was missing", "it's being processed, you should get a check in 7 to 10 days". It's always something!!!! Their customer service reps must be trained in stall tactics. My mother is stressed beyond belief and it's just plain cruel to put someone through this that is already stressed caring for their spouse. I am going to file a complaint with insurance commission and researching the possibility of getting a class action suit started against this company.

Christine H.
Cataula, GA
May 14 2019 2:51PM

Getting the claim process took some time/effort but customer service reps during the process and post process have been excellent. After 20 years paying premiums we thought Mom would never receive benefits and as crazy as it sounds, at one time recently we considered cancelling the policy with the last price increase, we are SO thankful we didn't. Robert

Robert W.
Swansea, IL
May 11 2019 12:09AM

The worst customer service ever. This so-called company has taken almost $1000 dollars from our account in the same day. And when I called the home office no one knows anything. They can not find our application nor our policy. This money was twice the amount that was authorized and no one can find our application or our policy. Terrible company.

Robert R.
Marianna, FL
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