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Basics of Long Term Care Insurance

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Factors To Consider Before Purchasing Insurance Covering Long Term Care Services

Optional Benefits

The New York State Department of Financial Services requires that at the time of sale of policies covering long term care services, certain optional benefits must be offered. These options (and the types of policies they must be offered with) follow:

An Inflation Protection Benefit must be offered with "Long Term Care Insurance," "Nursing Home Insurance Only," "Home Care Insurance Only" and "Nursing Home and Home Care Insurance". Policies approved under the New York State Partnership for Long Term Care must contain an inflation protection benefit of at least 5% compounded annually, unless the policy is purchased at or after age 80. Remember, a daily benefit amount that is adequate today may not be adequate ten years from now. In an indemnity policy an inflation protection benefit increases the daily benefit amount and/or maximum policy benefit over time to help keep pace with inflation and increased expenses.

A Nonforfeiture Benefit must be offered with "Long Term Care Insurance" policies. The nonforfeiture benefit is designed to ensure that if you lapse your policy (i.e., stop paying premiums) after a specified number of years, you retain some benefits from the policy. There are currently two common types of nonforfeiture benefits being offered with certain insurance policies covering long term care services. These are referred to as a "Reduced Paid-Up Benefit" and a "Shortened Benefit Period." A brief description of these benefits follow:

In other words, the "Reduced Paid-Up Benefit" provides reduced benefits for the original term of the policy, and the "Shortened Benefit Period" provides full benefits for a reduced period of time.

NOTE: ALL OF THE OPTIONAL BENEFITS NOTED ABOVE INCREASE THE COST OF THE BASIC POLICY.