A major life insurer has announced changes to a life insurance product that was launched in June 2006.

Nationwide Financial Services Inc., Columbus, Ohio, says it will be lowering prices for consumers who buy its Nationwide ULtimate Universal Life policy on a single-pay or limited-pay basis.

The company also has obtained New York state approval for a rider that provides for acceleration of death benefit payments when insureds need long term care services. The company will pay the benefit to New York residents who appear to have less than 12 months to live.

The change is important because about 25% of the customers buying the UL policy outside New York have been paying for the accelerated death benefit rider, Nationwide says.

Nationwide also is easing preferred risk guidelines for blood pressure, cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein levels.

Non-tobacco users will no longer need chest X-rays, and consumers who death benefits of $10 million or less will no longer need to get stress electrocardiograms, Nationwide says.