By Cyril Tuohy
Asset Preserver, a single-premium universal life insurance product and a mainstay of New York Life’s insurance portfolio, has been broadened to help pay for expenses associated with long-term care, the company has announced.
The policy, sold through agents and advisors, also boosts the value of the benefits available to pay for long-term care, the company said.
Craig DeSanto, senior vice president of New York Life, said in a statement that the changes offer people a way to reposition the assets within the policy to take advantage of the death benefit now, without the policyholder having to die before seeing the proceeds of the benefit.
“With Americans living longer and the cost of long-term care increasing, we have seen a trend among consumers to take advantage of hybrid products that provide the ability to do more with their dollars,” DeSanto said.
Medical equipment, long-term care outside the U.S., payment for home health care, family care, adult day care, assisted living, hospice care and nursing homes are covered under Asset Preserver as part of long-term care coverage, New York Life said.
An extension of benefits rider provides additional coverage for up to two years, extending the long-term care coverage by as much as 70 percent, the company also said.
New York Life joins several competitors that have also announced they are adding living benefits features to life insurance policies to help pay for more urgent needs.
Earlier this year, RiverSource Life said it had introduced a universal life insurance policy with an accelerated benefit rider for long-term care to help pay for covered long-term care expenses.
Earlier this month John Hancock and Lincoln Financial said they were adding flexibility to life insurance platforms to help policyholders pay for long-term care.
Many long-term care insurance companies have quit the market in the past 10 years, shrinking the supply of long-term care coverage. The cost of long-term care, meanwhile, continues to climb to levels few can afford.
At the same time, low interest rates mean that interest-earning life insurance policies are nowhere as attractive as they used to be.
One way to spruce up life insurance policies is to make living benefits more attractive.
DeSanto said New York life expects sales of hybrid products to “grow substantially in the years to come.”
Cyril Tuohy is a writer based in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. Cyril may be reached at [email protected].
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