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Stand-Alone Long-Term Care Insurance Issuer Expands Into California

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National Guardian Life Insurance Company says its EssentialLTC stand-alone long-term care insurance (LTCI) policy will be available in California July 6.

The announcement means that the company’s LTCI policy will be available in all states but Montana and New York.

(Related: National Guardian Life Expands LTCI Marketing Effort)

National Guardian Life sells individual LTCI coverage through traditional distributions, associations and worksite marketing programs.

It also offers true group LTCI plans for employers with five or more employees.

National Guardian Life is a Madison, Wisconsin-based company that’s been active in the markets for individual life insurance, annuities, Medicare supplement insurance, and the preneed arrangements used to pay for funerals, burials and cremation services.

National Guardian Life launched the EssentialLTC product, with support from LifeCare Assurance of Woodland Hills, California, in 2016, as many insurers were giving up on the stand-alone LTCI market and states were tightening rate stability standards.

LifeCare has argued that insurers equipped with decades of LTCI performance information, and familiarity with a low-interest-rate environment, should have an easier time writing profitable LTCI businesses than the original LTCI market pioneers, which were creating a new type of coverage at a time when bond yields were much higher.

Joe Guyotte, National Guardian Life’s national sales major for individual products, said in a comment included in the California market entry announcement that the EssentialLTC policy will give California residents another option for protecting their families against long-term care needs.

The Coverage

The California EssentialLTC brochure is not yet available.

The brochure for Washington state shows that the version of the coverage available there has issue ages ranging from 40 through 79.

Purchasers can buy coverage providing daily benefit amounts ranging from $50 to $300.

Elimination periods range from 0 days to 180 days, and benefit period options range from two years to three years.

Purchasers who want coverage for longer can buy benefit extension riders.

Lifetime benefits are available.

Coverage comes with access to care coordinator services. A more comprehensive version of the coverage also provides cash for training an informal caregiver, such as a family member or neighbor. The caregiver training benefit amounts to five times the policy’s daily benefit amount. A purchaser who chose a $300 daily benefit amount could get $1,500 in caregiver training benefits.

Both the regular policy and the more comprehensive version can pay international benefits for up to 30 days per calendar year, and up to 30 days of respite for an informal caregiver per year.

— Read New Stand-Alone LTCI Player Continues to Move Forwardon ThinkAdvisor.

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