Long-term care, which generally includes services like home care, assisted living and skilled nursing, is something most people hope they never have to use. But if you do end up in a position where you need long-term care, you want to make sure you’re ready for it since it can get very expensive. Perhaps the most notable name in long-term care insurance is Genworth. Over the last few years, the company has fluctuated between both offering and not offering long-term care.
The high premiums of long-term care insurance policies reflect the high costs of the care itself. The average yearly cost for a private room in a nursing home is estimated to be more than $105,000. Even if you don’t need to move into a care facility, the cost of a home care aide can run nearly $55,000 per year.
There are a number of ways you can pay for this, though. Government programs like Medicaid can cover some of the costs, and there are also state partnerships you can use. To make sure you’re ready for the potential of needing long-term care, though, insurance policies like the ones from Genworth are a safe bet. Long-term care insurance works the way other insurance products work, you pay a monthly premium now and you’re able to get payments to cover services later in life.
Shopping around is critically important. According to the Long Term Care Insurance Price Indexes produced by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, rates for virtually identical coverage can vary over 110%. If you want help finding insurance policies that fit your overall plans, think about working with a financial advisor.
Overview of Genworth
Genworth Financial is an insurance company based in Richmond, Virginia. The firm can trace its roots back to 1871, and it became publicly traded in 2004. It conducts business in all 50 states though not all its policies are available in every state. Its shares are listed on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker GNW, and it has a market capitalization of $1.74 billion. The firm has around 3,000 employees, and it ranks 348th on the Fortune 500 list for 2021.
Genworth’s current credit ratings are less than stellar: AM Best gives it a C++ (Marginal) rating. The Better Business Bureau gives the company a B+ rating. The BBB also says there are nine complaints in the last three years against the company, with two complaints having been closed in the last 12 months.
Operating income for Genworth has increased over that past three years. In 2018, the firm was losing money, and by 2020 net income was more than $432 million.
It’s important to note that as of September 2021, Genworth was not offering new long-term care insurance policies. That said, the company is hoping to return to the market in 2022 with an as-yet-unnamed partner, according to its 10-Q for the quarter ended June 30, 2021. Current long-term care insurance policy holders may face higher payments and reduced – or at least capped – benefits in the future. “Premium rate increases and associated benefit reductions on our legacy long-term care insurance policies are critical to the business,” the 10-Q states.
Genworth Long-Term Care Policy Features and Riders
Genworth does business in all 50 states, but not all LTC policies are available in every state. The company has over one million individuals and families as long-term care policy holders. The company has paid over $20.4 billion in claims for policyholders between 1974 and 2019. It says it pays out over $8.2 million in claims each business day.
Since the company has yet to relaunch its LTC business, there is no publicly available information available about features and riders that will be offered to potential policy holders. However, Genworth’s CEO gave a glimpse into premiums and benefits that may be coming in an August 2021 interview with S&P Global Market Intelligence.
“I would say we are going to end up with a maximum amount of coverage that we would offer over a policy lifetime, which could be $250,000,” CEO Thomas McInerney said. “Coverage at $250,000 would cover about 80% of all the claims we have had. I think the premiums on that kind of coverage would be in the $2,000-per-year range.”
McInerney, on other occasions, has warned that Genworth’s LTC business could face solvency challenges if state regulators do not approve rate hike requests.
Genworth Customer Satisfaction
There are a total of 44 complaints regarding long-term care insurance filed in 2020 against Genworth, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). The NAIC’s Complaint Index in 2020 for long-term care insurance at Genworth is 0.32, showing a lower rate of complaints than average. Only closed, confirmed complaints provided by state insurance departments are used in this NAIC report.
Genworth is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau, which gives the company’s long-term care insurance business an A- rating.
How to Contact Genworth
As noted above, Genworth is not currently selling long-term care insurance policies through agents and brokers. That said, if you’d like to contact the firm, you can fill out the contact form on its website.
Long-term care insurance is a product designed to help you pay for any long-term care you need when you get older, including nursing homes, skilled nursing and at home care. Genworth is a company that has, in the past, been a major player in the long-term care insurance industry – but for the past two years it hasn’t been selling new policies. This may be changing in 2022, though.
Long-Term Care Planning Tips
- If you need help obtaining long-term care insurance, consider working with a financial advisor. 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.
- Life insurance is a another product you may consider looking into as part of your long-term planning. Especially if you have minor children, SmartAsset’s free life insurance calculator can help you figure out exactly how much life insurance you should think about purchasing.
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