Growing old can bring distinct challenges, including the need for long-term care. While there is no guarantee that you’ll end up needing long-term care, many people’s health in their later years necessitates getting help with the activities of daily living. One provider of long-term care insurance is Brighthouse Financial. This page will guide you through the products Brighthouse offers and how you can take advantage of them. For more help with long-term care insurance or other financial planning issues, consider working with a financial advisor.
Long-term care can be provided in various ways, but generally it’s offered in one of three situations: at home, in an assisted living facility or in a facility that provides skilled nursing. No matter which of these is in view for you, they all come with a significant price tag. More specifically, the average price for a year in a private room in a nursing home is more than $105,000, while the average annual cost for a home care aide will run nearly $55,000.
There are number of ways you can go about paying these high costs. Government programs like Medicaid might cover some of it, and there are state partnership programs as well. Another common option is a 1035 exchange.
For many people, though, the best way to pay for these services is to buy long-term care insurance when you are younger in anticipation of needing long-term care later on. This works like any other insurance product: You pay a monthly premium starting now, and in exchange you get a benefit to cover long-term care costs later on when you need it.
Overview of Brighthouse
Brighthouse Financial, which traces its roots to 1863, is an insurance and annuity company based in Charlotte, North Carolina. It’s a publicly traded company that’s listed on the NASDAQ. The market capitalization of Brighthouse as of the end of September 2021 was approximately $3.81 billion. There are around 1,400 employees at the firm and more than two million customers. The firm placed at number 353 on the Fortune 500 list for 2021, and operated at a net loss in 2020 and 2018, but had positive growth in 2019.
Brighthouse appears to be financially strong. In fact, it has an A rating from A.M. Best, an A3 rating from Moody’s and an A+ from Standard & Poors (S&P). It has a stable outlook from all three ratings agencies as well.
Brighthouse Long-Term Care Policy Features & Riders
Brighthouse sells what is sometimes referred to as hybrid long-term care insurance. That means that these policies are packaged as riders with life insurance policies. In the case of Brighthouse, its long-term care policy is a rider on its indexed universal life (IUL) insurance policy, which Brighthouse calls “SmartCare.”
These policies include both a death benefit and long-term care benefits. There are three options for long-term care benefits. The first is a fixed-growth benefit, which grows by 5% each year to protect against inflation. Another option is available to link your premiums to a market index, giving the potential for higher benefit growth with a protection from dropping below your original amount. The final option is a level benefit which does not grow over time.
A major benefit of a hybrid long-term care policy is that it isn’t “use it or lose it.” If you’re lucky enough to not need long-term care, your stated beneficiaries will get a death benefit when you die. If you only use some of the money allotted for long-term care, they’ll get a reduced death benefit. In contrast, if you don’t claim long-term care with standalone or traditional long-term care policies, you’ve simply lost that money.
Customers at Brighthouse can choose to make a single premium payment or pay an annual premium for two to five years. Policies include a 90-day waiting period (also known as an elimination period) once meeting eligibility requirements for benefit payments to begin.
Services covered by Brighthouse long-term care insurance include home healthcare, assisted living care, skilled nursing care, hospice care and adult day care.
Brighthouse Customer Satisfaction
Complaints against Brighthouse over its long-term care insurance policies have been declining, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). In 2018, the number of complaints was above average; in 2019, the number of complaints was about average; and in 2020, the company drew a slightly lower-than-average number of complaints. Only closed, confirmed complaints provided by state insurance departments are used in this NAIC report.
The company is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but does get an A+ from the organization.
Brighthouse is a growing and popular insurance company that offers long-term care coverage as part of a broader life insurance policy. So you’ll receive long-term care payments, as well as a death benefit for your family. Its policies are traditionally sold through agents, so you’ll need to contact the firm to find a list of agents near you. There are a number of options for coverage and benefits can be used to cover a number of different services.
Long-Term Care Planning Tips
- A financial advisor can help you make insurance decisions. Finding a qualified financial advisor doesn’t have to be hard. SmartAsset’s free tool matches you with up to three financial advisors in your area, and you can interview your advisor matches at no cost to decide which one is right for you. If you’re ready to find an advisor who can help you achieve your financial goals, get started now.
- To get LTC coverage with Brighthouse, you’ll also be buying a life insurance policy. Get a better sense of your life insurance needs using SmartAsset’s free life insurance calculator.
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