TIAA (Teachers Insurance and Annuity Association) has announced several enhancements to its long-term care insurance policyTeachers LongTerm Care.
The features have the effect of reducing the policys cost through dividends, increasing its benefits and making it available to more people.
Teachers LongTerm Care, introduced in 1991, is available to the non-profit education and research communities, either directly or through employer-sponsored plans.
Dividends to be credited
Dividends will be available after the third year of an individuals Teachers LongTerm Care policy. While not guaranteed, the dividends will automatically be applied to premium payments to reduce the cost of the policy. Consistent with its non-profit status and charter purpose, TIAA has a history of returning to its policyholders premium amounts in excess of what is needed to pay claims, cover expenses and otherwise operate the company in a financially sound manner.
Policyholders now may increase their daily and lifetime coverage amounts to offset the effects of inflation, while lowering initial premium costs. This is done through the policys Periodic Inflation Option allowing policyholders to purchase additional amounts of coverage each year, consistent with increases in the Consumer Price Index, providing the option is exercised at least once every three years over the life of the policy.
Previously, the only inflation protection was one that automatically increased each year and required substantially higher initial premiums that remained level throughout the life of the policy.
Alternate care coverage
Where appropriate, TIAA can approve benefits in special situations beyond those specifically outlined in the standard Teachers LongTerm Care policy. For instance, in certain cases it may be appropriate to pay for construction of a ramp for wheelchair access.
Teachers LongTerm Care is available to active or retired employees and their spouses, parents and parents-in-law. The minimum enrollment age has been reduced to 18 (from 40), enabling educational and research employees in the early stages of their careers, as well as other eligible family members, to purchase long-term care insurance at extremely affordable premium rates.
These enhancements to Teachers LongTerm Care, as well as its overall design, are largely the result of input that TIAA has received from plan administrators and employees, said TIAA President Bruce Boyd. The result is a policy that provides even more comprehensive and flexible coverage, supported by an excellent program to offer assistance in identifying appropriate care.
TIAA has successfully served the insurance need of the education and research communities for 75 years, Boyd noted. During this time, TIAA has established a comprehensive service program that makes it uniquely qualified to provide the necessary education and communications support to effectively integrate long-term care planning into ones overall plans for financial security.
The fact that TIAA is one of only three U.S. life insurance companies, out of more than 2,000, to have the highest ratings from the four leading independent rating agencies for life insurance companies provides further assurance to administrators and employees regarding the financial strength and security of TIAA.
The Teachers LongTerm Care policys enhancements and other plan options are available in 45 states, as well as Washington, D.C., and other U.S. jurisdictions. Regulatory approval of the policy and plan options is pending in other states.