More and more frequently, partnership is becoming a popular topic among advisors. Some advisors are adamant about writing policies with partnership, while other advisors don’t see value in offering the program to their clients at all.

Determining whether clients require a partnership program is an individualized decision. It makes sense for some and does not for others.

Advisors who favor partnership tend to represent clients who have substantial assets to protect, but don’t want to pay the higher premiums for lifetime or unlimited benefits. In cases like these, partnership gives them peace of mind in knowing that if they use up their benefits, they won’t have to sell down their entire estate in order to receive benefits from Medicaid. Clients like the fact that, in many cases, they don’t have to pay extra for this protection and they feel more comfortable with these state-sanctioned plans.

Advisors who do not favor partnership have a variety of concerns about the program. While the pricing on most partnership plans does not increase, there are inflation requirements based on your client’s age. For example, a 57-year-old who wants an inflation rider of 5 percent must get a more aggressive rider in order to qualify for partnership status. This client will end up paying more for the partnership program simply because the required inflation rider is more expensive, as well as mandatory.

Secondly, clients who want unlimited or lifetime benefits have no need for partnership, because under those programs, they will never exhaust their benefit pools and would not be subject to requiring longer care than their policies provide.

Advisors should approach partnership plans just as they would any other type of long-term care insurance benefit. Find out what your clients are looking for in their plan and determine if partnership truly is a good fit for them. By assessing both the benefits and disadvantages of these plans, your clients will have all the information they need to make a sound decision about what type of plan they should purchase and how that plan will meet their needs in the future.

Lindsey Kirk is Director of LTC Sales for GamePlan Financial Marketing. She can be reached at lkirk@gameplanfinancial.com or by calling 800-886-4757.