Long-Term Care Insurance Calendar Days vs. Service Days

Long-Term Care Insurance Calendar Days vs. Service Days

The Calendar Day Rider on Long Term Care Insurance is one of those things that could be labeled as “fine print” on most policies.  Some companies, like Mutual of Omaha, include it automatically.  It’s extra with the Genworth Long Term Care Insurance product.  Others require extra premium for the luxury of having calendar day elimination periods.

What Is It?

The difference between calendar days and service days on elimination periods is quite simple: Calendar days are better, because you can literally mark your calendar out 90 days (for example) from the day you are eligible for your benefits, and that’s the day that your benefit payments will commence.  Service Days, on the other hand, require that you actually receive Long Term Care services for 90 actual days.  So, in an extreme example, if you were to only require services three days a week, it would take 30 weeks to meet your elimination period, or about 210 days.

Is It Worth It?

Whether you should buy Calendar Days riders depends on your attitude towards taking on some additional risk.  In their article on the subject, Elder Law Answers says that yes, you should buy this rider.  They are spending your money for you, and whether it makes sense is a personal decision.  As a general rule, most of our clients choose to roll the dice and go with Service Days, if available.

Combining Calendar Days and 0-Day Home Care Doesn’t Make Sense

For a 60-year old policyholder, the Calendar Days Elimination Period costs about $100 per year extra on an average policy, or about 3% more across several sample quotes that we examined.  One thing is for certain: if you decide to add a “Waiver of Home Health Care” rider, you’ll want to skip this rider.  (Most claims do start at home, and home care is preferred by many.)

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