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Pacific Life PremierCare Choice – Objective Review

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Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice

Pacific Life Insurance Company has been offering insurance since 1868. They provide a wide range of products including a hybrid long-term care insurance called “PremierCare Choice.”

Now Pacific Life’s Hybrid product is good but it is not great.

While PremiereCare offers standard protection like any other hybrid insurance policy, it has no key feature that truly sets it apart.

For example:

Unlike the previously mentioned hybrids, Pacific Life’s PremierCare does not offer any benefits that makes it stand out. In addition, what it lacks in features, it does not make up for in price.In comparison, the products listed above, Pacific Life’s PremierCare falls somewhere in the middle regarding price.

Nevertheless I will say this, Pacific Life’s PremierCare does offer more flexible underwriting than the other products. Yet, it still lacks in potential to make it a stand-out Hybrid Long-Term Care insurance policy.

With that being said, let’s breakdown how this product works and sees how it compares in benefits to some of the other products on the market.

In this article we will discuss:

How Does Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice Work?

PremierCare Choice is a whole life insurance policy with a qualified long-term care insurance rider. This hybrid combination offers you benefits in three different ways.

It offers long-term care coverage in the event you need long-term care services, a death benefit to your beneficiaries if you never need care, and a return of premium if you ever change your mind.

Such guaranteed benefits will give you the assurance that your long-term care needs will be met and your funds will always be available if long-term care is never needed.

Now PremierCare Choice uses an Accelerated Benefits Rider to pay long-term care benefits from the life insurance policy.

After the life insurance benefit is exhausted, the policy then uses an Extended Benefits Rider to continue to pay long-term care benefits.

Between the Accelerated Benefits Rider and the Extended Benefits Rider, a Premier Care policy may have a benefit period up to 8 years!

That’s up to 8 years of long-term care coverage and protection!

(You choose the length of your benefit period at the time of application.)

How Is A PremierCare Policy Funded?

A Premier Care Choice policy can be funded using a single premium deposit or recurring premiums.

PremierCare Choice gives you the option to make recurring premium payments over 5, 10, 15, or 20 years.

Funding sources for Premier Care can come from a number of sources. Examples of funding sources include:

  • A portion of your savings
  • Cash value from an existing life insurance policy
  • Cash

PremierCare Choice provides you with a number of funding options to fit your needs. Now, let’s look at how to to qualify for a policy.

How Can I Qualify For PremierCare Choice?

To be able to qualify for PremierCare Choice, you must be between the ages of 30-75.

The policy offers two rate classes: Non-smoker and Smoker.

Both risk classes offer a couples discount for applicants who are married, in a state sanctioned civil union, or are in a domestic partnership.

Both spouses do not have to apply in order to receive the couples discount.

PremierCare Choice offers a streamlined application and underwriting process.

This streamlined process consists of gathering information from you and conducting a personal history telephone interview.

An Attending Physician’s Statement is also required for applicants age 50 and over.

What LTC Services Does PremierCare Choice Cover?

PremierCare Choice covers a range of long-term care services including:

  1. Facility-Based Services
    • Nursing Homes
    • Assisted Living Facilities
    • Hospice Care Facilities
  2. Home & Community-Based Services
    • Adult Day Care Centers
    • Home Health Care
    • Alternative Care
    • Home Modifications

PremierCare Choice provides you with the option to receive care in a number of places. The policy also covers the cost of durable medical equipment that may be needed during a long-term care event.

Now PremireCare Choice is unique as it offers two ways to pay your claims. Let’s look at this unique feature.

How Does Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice Pay Claims?

PremierCare Choice is unique among other hybrids as it can pay claims in one of two ways: reimbursement or indemnity.

While most hybrid LTC policies pay claims either by reimbursement or by indemnity, PremierCare Choice lets you choose your benefit payment method.

If you choose to receive your benefits via reimbursement, you would have to submit bills or receipts to Pacific Life for your benefits to be disbursed.

However, if you select to receive benefits via indemnity checks, Pacific Life will mail you a check every month up to the maximum monthly benefit amount listed in your policy.

One thing to keep in mind however, is that selecting your benefits to be paid via indemnity checks will reduce your policy’s total LTC benefit pool.

Pacific Life will only pay about 80% of your total LTC benefit pool if you choose indemnity checks. In addition, you cannot change your benefit payment method once you started receiving benefits.

While offering a cash indemnity option is great, the 20% loss of benefits is discouraging. This is especially true when products like Nationwide’s CareMatters offers 100% cash indemnity benefits.

Nevertheless, lets continue by examining some of PremierCare’s key features.

Key Features of PremierCare Choice:

0-Day Elimination Period For Home-Based LTC Services

(Reimbursement Benefit Payment Option Only)

PremierCare Choice offers a 0-day elimination period for Home-Based Long-Term Care services. This offer is only available under the reimbursement benefit payment option.

Now, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 65% of people who need long-term care services are receiving it at home.

Therefore, this is a great feature to have since most long-term care claims begin at home.

With most hybrid policies, there is a 90-day elimination period before you can receive benefit payments. You have to pay for long-term care services for the first 90 days.

However, if you go on claims with PremierCare Choice and you are receiving care at home, you don’t have to wait 90 days before receiving benefit payments.

This feature also results in huge cost savings for you. For example, let’s say the cost of care in your home state is $4,500 a month. A 0-day elimination period will result in $13,500 in cost savings!

Flexible Benefit Payments (Reimbursement or Cash Indemnity)

Again, hybrid LTC insurance policies typically pay benefits either as a reimbursement or as cash indemnity.

However, with PremierCare Choice, you have the flexibility and choice to receive your benefits either as reimbursements or as cash indemnity at the time of claim.

We already discussed in detail in the “How Does Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice Pay Claims?” section. Therefore, you may click the link to go back and review the information there.

Your benefit payment option is selected at the time you go on claims and not at the time you apply for coverage. Therefore, this gives you time to decide which option is right for you.

PremierCare Choice is the only product in the hybrid LTC insurance market that offers you this added flexibility.

100% Return of Premium

PremierCare Choice is offers a 100% return of premium on all of their policies.

Whereas other hybrids may charge for this feature, PremierCare Choice policies offer this feature at no additional cost to you.

Policies issued have a built-in vesting schedule for the return of your premium. Therefore, as the years go by, you have access to a higher return of premium.

Typically with PremierCare Choice, you have access to a full return of premium after 15 years of owning the policy.

This is a great feature to have because it offers you the peace of mind that you can always get back your full premium deposit at some point and time -(assuming you have not made any policy distributions in the form of a loan or LTC benefit claim).

How Does PremierCare Choice Compare to Other Products?

Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice definitely meets the standard in the hybrid LTC insurance market. If we were to compare PremierCare Choice to its competitors, it is best to make comparisons using the following 5 categories:

  1. Long-term Care Benefit Pool (LTC Benefit Amount)
  2. Benefit Periods
  3. Elimination Periods
  4. Inflation Protection Options
  5. Premium Payment Options

(For a detailed description of these 5 categories and how they affect a hybrid-LTC insurance policy, please read our post “5 Things to Review In Every Hybrid Long-term Care Policy.”)

Earlier in the post we stated that PremierCare Choice allows you to select a benefit period of up to 8 years and also offers flexible premium payment options.

Therefore, PremierCare Choice already shows it performs well in 2 of the 5 categories.

For our comparison, we will use the remaining three categories: LTC Benefit Pool, Elimination Periods, and Inflation Protection Options.

Now let’s see how PremierCare Choice compares to Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard III, another well-known and competitive product in the hybrid marketplace.

PremierCare Choice vs. MoneyGuard III

Case Study: 55 Year Old Male

Tom is a 55 year old married male in Pennsylvania looking to get a hybrid long-term care insurance policy for himself.

Tom has $100,000 in savings that he would like to use to secure a policy.

Based on what Tom is willing to deposit, let’s see what PremierCare Choice, Lincoln’s MoneyGuard III, and Nationwide’s CareMatters can offer him.

Pacific Life PremierCare Choice

Pacific Life illustration

For a $100,000 deposit, Tom gets over $365,320 in initial LTC benefits.

That’s $3.65 in insurance for every $1 he placed in PremierCare Choice.

In addition, with a competitive 5% simple interest inflation protection option, Tom’s total LTC benefit at Age 80 is over $770,000.

His total benefits at age 80 compared to his premium deposit is almost 8:1!

This policy also comes with a 0-day elimination period for home health care which is great as most claims begin at home.

Also, after 15 years of the policy being in-force, Tom has access to a full return of premium if he ever changes his mind.

Not to mention, the policy provides Tom with a $108,243 death benefit if he never needs long-term care services.

Overall, PremierCare Choice bundles great benefits and quality LTC coverage all in one product!

Now let’s see what Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard III will get Tom.

Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard III

MoneyGuard illustration

Now if Tom places his $100,000 into Lincoln’s MoneyGuard III, he will receive $334,000 in initial LTC benefits.

That’s about $30,000 less than what PremierCare Choice offered Tom.

In addition, with Lincoln’s 3% compound interest inflation protection option, Tom’s total LTC benefit pool will be $699,338 at age 80.

That’s $70,000 less than what Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice can give to Tom at age 80.

In addition, MoneyGuard only offers a 70% return of premium if Tom changes his mind. Therefore, Tom would lose $30,000 in assets if he decided to cancel.

The death benefit for Lincoln’s MoneyGuard and Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice are practically the same.

However, the elimination period for MoneyGuard is stronger as it has no elimination period for ALL eligible claims.

Lastly, let’s see what Nationwide’s CareMatters II can offer Tom.

Nationwide’s CareMatters II

Nationwide CareMatters illustration

With a $100,000 premium deposit, Nationwide’s CareMatters offers Tom an initial LTC benefit of $411,843. That’s almost $50,000 more than what Pacific Life offers Tom and $80,000 more than what Lincoln’s MoneyGuard offers Tom.

Also, with a 3% compound inflation option, Tom would receive $862,309 in benefits at age 80. That’s $90,000 more than what Pacific Life offers Tom and $160,000 more than what Lincoln’s MoneyGuard offers Tom at age 80.

Nationwide’s CareMatters also offers a slightly higher death benefit than both Pacific’s PremierCare and Lincoln’s MoneyGuard.

However, Pacific Life does offer the highest return of premium compared to both Lincoln’s MoneyGuard and Nationwide’s Carematters.

So what can we conclude regarding Tom’s case and Pacific Life’s PremierCare as an option for coverage?

Conclusion – Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice Is “Middle-Of-The-Road”

In Tom’s case, Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice does not offer the least coverage but it also does not offer the most coverage. It was pretty much in the middle.

As I stated in the beginning of this article, PremierCare is a good product but it is not great. It outperforms some of the competition while being outperformed itself.

Overall, Nationwide’s CareMatters would be the best option for Tom. It offered the most benefits and coverage for the same premium.

Therefore, if you were considering Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice, I would recommend taking a look at Nationwide’s CareMatters first.

I would be more than happy to assist you and show you a personalized comparison of both products.

Request A Free Quote Today

If you were interested in Pacific Life’s PremierCare Choice or Nationwide’s CareMatters, reach out to me today! Again, I am happy to assist you!

Give me a call today at 1(800) 498-3955 or request a FREE quote below!

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