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Long Term Care > Choosing Riders

Choosing from among the many long-term care insurance policies available is a daunting task. Insurance companies are trying to stand out by offering extra perks with various plans. When comparing plans, make sure you are comparing ones with the same riders, discounts, and other special features. This won't be easy because they differ from company to company, but you'll need to make the effort to ensure that you're getting the best possible rates.

Riders will often cost you more money, but the key is to determine which of them are worth the increased premiums.

Home health care rider

If home health care coverage is not a part of a policy, you may want to add a rider for it. It's an important benefit to purchase since it will help you avoid going to a nursing home or similar facility if you can no longer care for yourself.

Nonforfeiture benefit rider

A nonforfeiture benefit rider ensures that you will not lose all your benefits even if you stop paying premiums before starting to receive payments. Most states have regulations in place requiring insurance companies to offer nonforfeiture benefit riders.

Though it can be useful, you can expect to pay around 40 percent more for a policy with a nonforfeiture rider. They are usually not very popular because of the high costs.

Return-of-premium rider

This is a type of nonforfeiture benefit. You or your beneficiaries are entitled to the return of some or all of the premiums paid if you don't use the policy during your lifetime.

After a certain number of years, you can forfeit the policy altogether and receive some of your premium payments. The cost of purchasing the rider is high.

Shared-benefit rider

Intended for couples, this rider will allow either husband or wife to draw from the other's policy if their own benefits have been used up. Some companies build this into policies without using a rider so that both husband and wife can use one set of benefits. It is cheaper than buying two policies.

Inflation rider

Inflation riders help your benefits keep pace with the higher costs of health care. As health care costs rise, your policy's benefits will rise with them so that you're not left paying for the costs yourself.

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