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Is single-premium long-term care insurance worth it?

Single-premium long-term care insurance is one option you have when shopping for coverage.  Nicolas Hansen / Getty Images

If you're in the market for long-term care insurance, you may find that there are several options to choose from, both in terms of coverage and how you pay for coverage

With most long-term care insurance policies, you pay your premiums each month. And, if you stop paying those premiums, you could lose your coverage. 

But a lesser-known option is called single-premium long-term care insurance, which only requires you to pay for one premium to secure coverage. Is single-premium long-term care insurance worth it, though? Here's what experts say.

Compare your long-term care insurance options with an expert now

Is single-premium long-term care insurance worth it?

Whether or not single-premium long-term care insurance is worth it depends, in large part, on whether you can afford to pay a high single premium and whether or not the policy benefits align with what you want from your coverage. Before you make any decisions, though, it's also important to ensure that you understand what this type of coverage is and how it works.

What is single-premium long-term care insurance?

"A single-premium long-term care policy is exactly what it implies," says Mickey Batsell, CLTC, trainer for Certification for Long-Term Care, an education company that offers certifications for long-term care insurance agents. "There is only one premium required."

"A single-premium long-term care insurance plan is typically a life insurance policy or annuity that can be funded with either qualified or non-qualified funds," says Patrick Simasco, elder law attorney and financial advisor at Simasko Law. "Once purchased, no further premiums would be due."

With traditional long-term care insurance, you could lose your benefits if you don't keep up with your premiums. But with single-premium long-term care insurance, you'll be able to lean on your coverage even if you face financial issues in the future. After all, you pay your premiums upfront, so there's no chance of missing any monthly payments. 

That's not the only benefit of this type of policy, though. This type of policy can also save you money in certain cases.

Talk with an expert about single-premium long-term care insurance today

How does single-premium long-term care insurance save you money?

Single-premium long-term care insurance can result in cost savings because it can offer you more benefits for less money. 

"You get a better bang for your buck when you front-load [your long-term care insurance] and do a single premium," says Keith Bercun, regional sales director at OneAmerica Financial Partners, a financial services firm. "For the same premium dollar, you're going to get better benefits. So, for example, if you came up with $100,000, you're going to get a bigger death benefit and bigger long-term care benefits than if you were to" pay $10,00 per year over 10 years. 

If you don't have the money to fund a single-premium long-term care insurance policy, though, you may be able to expand your coverage or get better benefits with a hybrid pay structure. 

"Some carriers give you a hybrid funding solution, where you can single-pay a portion of the policy and do a recurring premium on the other portion, and that can really amplify the benefits," says Bercun. "Like with OneAmerica Financial Partners, instead of coming up with $100,000 one time, you could come up with $60,000 and a small annual premium of $3,000 per year." 

In turn, hybrid options may be more affordable upfront compared to a single-premium option and can save you money over time compared to traditional long-term care insurance with monthly premiums. 

The bottom line

Single-premium long-term care insurance may be worth it if you have the money to fund the policy with one payment. However, if you don't, you still have the option to consider a policy with one of the other funding options. For example, you could choose to take the traditional monthly premium route or opt for a hybrid between single-premium and monthly-premium funding options. Learn more about your options by chatting with a long-term care insurance professional now

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