Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

How to choose the right insurance for long-term care of you or a loved one

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Long term care insurance is private insurance that you buy to help pay for medical and non-medical care you may need as you get older, such as assistance with bathing, dressing, and eating. Because the median monthly cost for a home health aide is steep at over $4,000, and a nursing home facility can easily top $8,000 a month, these high costs can eat up your retirement savings. But you have options. Buying long-term care insurance is one way to save you and your family a lot of money—and headaches—down the road. 

To help you plan ahead and select the best long-term care insurance for your needs, we reviewed top private long-term care insurance providers, evaluating their prices, coverage, special features,  and financial stability.

Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies
Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

Best Choice of Carriers : GoldenCare

GoldenCare

GoldenCare

Why We Chose It: Golden Care, also known as National Independent Brokers, Inc., is a long-term care insurance brokerage that specializes in helping you create a tailored long-term care policy that works for you. The company works with top-rated long-term care insurers (think John Hancock, Mutual of Omaha, BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, Humana, etc.), earning the best choice of carriers category.

What We Like
  • Lets you shop around; not affiliated with any single carrier

  • Helps match you with carriers that fit your needs / budget

  • Offers hybrid Long-term care / life insurance policies

  • A+ rating from Better Business Bureau

What We Didn't Like
  • Relative newcomer, in business since 1976

  • Not ranked by AM Best

  • No online quotes, must speak with an agent

Golden Care specializes in insurance products, including life and long-term care hybrid policies, life insurance, and annuities. Since 1976, GoldenCare has helped customers secure reliable policies from leading carriers. The company is accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which gives it an A+ rating.

Among the top-rated insurers in GoldenCare's network are Mutual of Omaha, John Hancock, BlueCross BlueShield, Aetna, Allianz, Great American Insurance Group, Humana, Minnesota Life, Kemper, and Legal Shield, among others.

Because the Golden Care agents represent several insurers and are licensed in your state, you get the benefit of one-stop shopping and can compare different policies and different companies in one phone call. There is no charge to you. 

To get a quote, fill out a simple online form, including your address, email, and phone, as well as your age, your spouse’s age, and the best time to contact you. 

Within 24 hours, you will receive a call from a Golden Care agent to discuss your long-term care needs in more detail. You will also receive an email that gives a sample cost of coverage for you. 

A sample quote from Golden Care for long-term care insurance for a 58-year-old woman and her 63-year-old spouse costs $206 per month. It covered a total benefit of $175,200 each, for a maximum of 3 years, and paid up to $4,800 per month. It had a 90-day waiting period from the date you begin to start receiving benefits. The emailed quote did not state which carrier was offering the policy, but when you speak to an agent, they will explain the details to you and work with you to find the best policy from all the carriers they work with.

Best Overall : AARP/New York Life

AARP/New York Life

 AARP/New York Life

Why We Chose It: We chose New York Life, the oldest mutual insurance company in the United States, as best overall because of its wide choice of plans, excellent financial ratings, long history, and flexibility in types of policies in terms of where and from whom you would receive care.

What We Like
  • In business since 1845

  • Great flexibility of plans

  • Benefit periods range from 2–7 years

  • Money back guarantee if policy not used

  • Offers hybrid Long-term care / life insurance policies

What We Didn't Like
  • No online quotes, must talk to agent

New York Life, founded in 1845, is one of the best long-term care insurance providers, with an A++ rating from AM Best and the approval of AARP, which offers its long-term care insurance policies through New York Life. In addition to traditional long-term care insurance, the company offers hybrid insurance that combines long-term care with life insurance; if you end up not needing the funds for long-term care, you receive them in a larger life insurance payout. New York Life also has the most flexibility in covering expenses from a variety of places, from care by a family member, care in your own home, or care in memory care or assisted living facility. 

New York Life offers you a variety of options to match the amount of coverage you need. For example, you can choose a benefit period covering two years up to seven years, and daily payments between $50 and $400. You have a choice of 90 or 180 days for your “waiting period”—the amount of time you will have to pay for any services out of your own pocket before insurance coverage starts. 

Coverage amounts vary from $50,000 to $250,000, the maximum lifetime benefit. If you are a married 55-year-old male, you can expect to pay about $25 per month for a maximum lifetime benefit of $50,000, or about $119 per month for $250,000.

New York Life’s other extra benefits include a money-back guarantee if no long-term care is needed and a death benefit worth 10% of the policy’s face value when the policyholder dies, if the total coverage has been used up.

Important

The younger you are when you purchase long-term care insurance, the lower your monthly premium will be, and the more likely you will be to be accepted for a policy. Buying long-term care insurance between the ages of 60 and 64 is recommended by several sources. Every insurer will ask you to disclose your health history during the underwriting process.

Best for Discounts : Mutual of Omaha

Mutual of Omaha

 Mutual of Omaha

Why We Chose It: If you are looking for discounts on your long-term care insurance policy, Mutual of Omaha offers several, with the potential for saving up to 30% off your monthly premiums—making it our choice for best discounts.

What We Like
  • Discounts available for partners

  • Inflation protection at 3% to 5%

  • In business since 1909, with AM Best A+ rating

  • Return of Premium

  • Coverage for alternative care

What We Didn't Like
  • Must speak to an agent to get further details

  • Extra charge for inflation protection and other options

Mutual of Omaha, founded in 1909, has an AM Best rating of A+ (Superior). While it offers only one basic long-term care insurance plan, Mutual of Omaha created features that you can customize based on your needs. For example, the standard plan includes a personal care coordinator who helps you assess your needs and arrange services, a waiver of premium so you won’t have to pay while you are using the benefits, and more. 

Mutual of Omaha’s website is easy to use, and you can quickly get a ballpark quote based on your age and your spouse or partner’s age, the state you live in, and how much coverage you would like to get per month. For example, a married 58-year-old female with a husband can expect to pay between $199 and $331 per month for $3,000 to $5,000 in monthly benefit amounts, while a single 70-year-old male can expect to pay between about $243 and $405 for the same coverage amounts. These estimates are for a 36-month policy, with a 90-day elimination period. 

Mutual of Omaha offers discounts for couples: When both partners sign up, they can receive 30% off their premium. If only one partner has a policy, a 5% discount applies. (Couples are defined as legally married, in a domestic partnership, or a committed relationship at a shared residence for at least the past three years.)  If you are in good health, regardless of your age, you can save 15%.

However, to get details on all of your options for personalizing your plan, you must speak with an agent. For example, additional benefits are available at an extra cost, such as inflation protection, shared care (where partners can share benefits if needed), and a return of premium for any benefits you don’t use.

Best for Short Waiting Period : Lincoln Financial Group

Lincoln Financial Group

 Lincoln Financial Group

Why We Chose It: We chose Lincoln Financial Group as best for a short waiting period because it offers the best “no-waiting-period” policies, so you can enjoy immediate access to your benefit payout (without having to fork out even more money for a rider, in addition to your monthly premium). For all covered services, including nursing homes and assisted living facilities, payments start immediately.

What We Like
  • No waiting period for covered services

  • In business since 1905

  • A+ (Superior) AM Best rating

  • Return of premiums if you don’t need care

  • No medical exams or lab tests required

What We Didn't Like
  • No online quotes available; you must speak with an agent

  • Long-term care is a rider, must purchase a life insurance plan

Almost all long-term care insurers subject you to a waiting period, the time between the date when you first need a service covered under the policy, and the date your benefits start paying for the extra care you need. The Lincoln Financial Group, which has an A+ (Superior) rating from AM Best, has the best policies that we found for short waiting periods. Its death benefit ranges from $50,000 to $500,000.

Its MoneyGuard II and MoneyGuard III policies both have zero-day elimination periods for coverage if you need a nursing home or an assisted living facility. A 90-day waiting period is typical among insurers.  

Key features of MoneyGuard II (a universal life insurance plan with an optional long-term care benefit rider) include locked-in premiums, tax-free reimbursements for qualifying long-term care expenses, and no deductible. 

Don't end up needing long-term care? You can choose from a tax-free death payout for your heirs, or Lincoln Financial Group will return 100% of your paid premiums. The other option for a no-waiting-period plan, MoneyGuard III, includes a couples discount,  requires no medical exams or lab tests, and offers inflation protection. Lincoln Financial Group also offers a terminal illness rider, which pays up to $250,000 if diagnosed with a terminal disease.

Best For Customization/Flexible options : Transamerica

Transamerica

 Transamerica

Why We Chose It: We chose Transamerica as best for the ability to customize your long-term care coverage because it offers the most options to tailor your policy to your exact needs and its reputation as a leader in the insurance industry.

What We Like
  • Wide selection of included benefits

  • Coverage available from age 19 to age 79

  • Flexible home care options

  • Plans don’t lapse due to age or health changes

What We Didn't Like
  • No online quotes, must speak to an agent

  • 90-day waiting period for coverage

  • Riders cost extra to purchase

With nearly 300,000 policies in force and an AM Best rating of A, Transamerica policies offer the best range of included policy features, plus offers a large selection of optional riders to tailor your plan. 

All of its offerings include:

  • The option to choose a monthly cash benefit, which pays 10 times the MDB, instead of all the other benefits
  • A remain-at-home benefit covers the cost for home modifications, such as a wheelchair ramp, or caregiver training
  • Waiving of monthly premium fees waived once benefits begin 
  • Possibility to consider new, alternative long-term care services
  • Hospice care for up to 180 days
  • Up to 30 days per year temporary stays in a long-term care facility, adult day care, or in-home care 

In addition to the wide range of included benefits, you can also pick and choose from riders, which are extra benefits that will increase your monthly premium, but offer peace of mind that you are covering what means most to you. 

Some of the riders for purchase are: 

  • An elimination period credit to lessen or satisfy your elimination period 
  • A nonforfeiture benefit means your insurance continues on a limited basis if you stop paying premiums if you’ve had it for at least 3 years.
  • Return of premium upon death, where your policy beneficiary receives a payment when you die 
  • Two types of partner benefits: If you and your partner have identical Transamerica long-term care insurance policies, you can waive premiums during the same months and share benefits if one of you exhausts their benefits. 

Transamerica also offers one of the highest policy face values: $1,095,000 maximum, for any state. Minimum daily benefits (MDB) are $50–$60, depending on the state.  

To get an exact quote, you must visit their website and enter your name, age, state, and whether or not your spouse or partner is interested in long-term care insurance. Then, an agent will call you with details.

Final Verdict

Buying long-term care insurance is a big decision that you should carefully research. With so many different factors to consider—how many months or years will you need coverage, and how much per day will you need to pay for care expenses—it pays to select an experienced and top-notch insurer with agents who will spend time with you to talk about your exact needs, and help guide you to the best insurance that fits your budget. 

With this in mind, we recommend talking to an experienced insurance broker who has in-depth background and knowledge about each of the long-term care insurance companies that we have listed.  We recommend asking the agent whether they represent all of the companies listed. Otherwise, start by contacting the company that most closely matches your needs to begin planning for your long-term care insurance.

Compare Providers

Best Long Term Care Insurance Why We Picked It Notable Feature
GoldenCare Best Choice of Carriers Not affiliated with any single carrier, lets you shop around  
AARP/New York Life   Best Overall  Money-back guarantee if policy not used
Mutual of Omaha Best for Budget  30% discounts available for partners
Lincoln Financial Best for Short Waiting Period Return of premiums if you don’t need care
Transamerica Best For Customization  Coverage available from age 19 to age 79

FAQs

What Is Long-Term Care Insurance?

Long-term care insurance is private insurance that you buy in preparation to help pay for medical and non-medical care and services that you may need as you get older. Long-term care insurance can help protect your assets, but you must be careful when researching policies, as there are many exclusions and details to understand. 

Does Medicare Pay for Long-Term Care?

Medicare does not cover most long-term care, and Medicaid will only cover your care if it’s in a Medicaid-approved facility. You must meet strict financial guidelines to qualify. 

How Much Coverage Is Available for Long-Term Care?

Insurers vary, but you can buy a long-term care policy that will cover you for $1 million worth of care and higher, though keep in mind the monthly premiums may be very costly.

How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

Monthly premiums can run from less than $25 per month for someone under 60 and in good health to over $500. Average premiums for long-term care policies are about $2,700 a year, about $225 each month. Premiums will vary based on your age, where you live, what features you want, and how much total coverage you will need. 

How Much Does It Cost to Stay in an Assisted Care Facility?

In 2019, the average monthly cost in the United States for a shared nursing home room was $7,513 per month. The average nursing home costs a resident $90,155 per year for a shared room and $102,200 for a private room. 

Are There Flexible Options Available?

Long-term care insurance policies can often be tailored to meet the purchaser’s exact needs, considering their budget, needs, age, and location of care. 

Why Should Someone Consider Getting Long-Term Care Insurance?

If you want to protect your assets to leave an inheritance, if you want more control over the quality of care that you receive, or if you don’t have a family to help care for you if you become incapacitated, long-term insurance may be the best way to plan ahead.

How We Chose the Best Long-Term Care Insurance Companies

We researched the top-rated insurance carriers in the United States, looking at their financial background and ratings, the range of long-term care insurance options they offered, pricing, the number of states they serve, and if any specific service or benefit stood out in their offerings, such as no waiting period for benefits to begin. Note that we were unable to get exact quotes for some carriers because of online restrictions barring access to specific information for research purposes.

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Article Sources
Verywell Health uses only high-quality sources, including peer-reviewed studies, to support the facts within our articles. Read our editorial process to learn more about how we fact-check and keep our content accurate, reliable, and trustworthy.
  1. Morningstar, Inc. Must-know statistics about long-term care: 2019 edition. Updated November 25, 2019.

  2. BBB. GoldenCare, USA.

  3. AM Best. New York Life.

  4. AM Best. Mutual of Omaha.

  5. AM Best. Lincoln Financial Group.

  6. AM Best. Transamerica.

  7. Must Know Stats About Long Term Care, Morningstar.com, January, 20, 2021.