Reasons to Avoid MassMutual’s CareChoice One

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MassMutual is a well-known life insurance company that also offers a diverse suite of insurance products. One of those products is a hybrid long-term care insurance policy they call CareChoice One.

In this article we will discuss:

How Does CareChoice One Work?

CareChoice One is a single premium whole life insurance policy with a long-term care insurance rider. This combination or hybrid policy offers the insured:

  1. Long-term care benefits if you ever need LTC services
  2. A death benefit in the event you never need long-term care services.
  3. The option to get your money back if you ever change your mind.

With a single premium deposit, CareChoice One can provide you with all of these features typical of a hybrid long-term care insurance.

Illustration of how hybrid LTC life insurance works
Hybrid Long-Term Care Life Insurance

Is CareChoice One Worth Considering?

Although CareChoice One provides benefits typical of a hybrid LTC policy, it is lacking in quality and performance.

Quite frankly, its design and features fall short in a number of ways.

When considering any hybrid long-term care policy, it is recommended you get familiarized with the “5 Things To Review In Every Hybrid Long-term Care Insurance Policy.”

Here are the 5 things to consider in any hybrid policy or product:

  1. LTC Benefit Amount
  2. Benefit Period
  3. Elimination Period
  4. Inflation Protection
  5. Premium Payment Options

These 5 areas are essential to the makeup of a hybrid policy and how it performs.

(For a more detailed explanation read our post “5 Things To Review In Every Hybrid Long-term Care Insurance Policy.” )

CareChoice One falls short in 4 out of the 5 areas of interest:

Area of InterestCareChoice One Performance
1. LTC Benefit AmountOverpriced benefit coverage; No Couples Discount
2. Benefit PeriodNo benefit period selection
3. Inflation ProtectionExtremely expensive inflation protection option
4. Premium Payment OptionsNo flexible premium payment options (Single Premium Only)

Let’s look at the shortfalls of CareChoice One in more detail.

Reasons to Avoid CareChoice One

1. Overpriced LTC Benefit Coverage

MassMutual’s CareChoice One is offers overpriced coverage. When we compare CareChoice One to its competitors, it is normally high on price but low on coverage.

Without its overpriced inflation protection, CareChoice One seems competitive.

For example, for $100,000 a 60 year old male can get a Total LTC Benefit Pool of $306,000.

Here is a copy of the revised illustration reflecting this point:

However, with Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard II for example, the same $100,000 deposit will get a Total LTC Benefit pool of $359,000.

That’s an extra $60,000 in coverage!

That’s 120% more coverage than the CareChoice One policy.

Here is a copy of the revised illustration reflecting this point:

No Couples Discount

In addition to being overpriced, CareChoice One does not offer you a couples discount.

This is a discount normally offered to you for being married. This discount can offer at least 5% savings on your policy.

Many of CareChoice One’s competitors offer a couples discount on their policies.

With no couples discount, CareChoice One makes itself less competitive for you as the consumer.

Therefore, CareChoice One is not only costly but offers no cost savings to you in any form.

2. No Benefit Period Selection

Unlike other hybrid long-term care policies which allow you to select your benefit period, CareChoice One chooses yours for you.

CareChoice One offers a 48 month benefit period ONLY.

That’s right, you cannot select a longer benefit period. Their minimum guaranteed benefit period is fixed and does not allow you to increase it.

So if you want to ensure that your guaranteed coverage will last for a time you find suitable, CareChoice One may not be right for you.

Now CareChoice One can use policy dividends to extend the benefit period. However, Dividends are NOT Guaranteed.

You are better off getting another hybrid LTC product that allows you to choose your benefit period and will guarantee your benefit period upfront.

3. Extremely Expensive Inflation Protection Option

Inflation protection is so important to have in your policy. Unfortunately, CareChoice One just outright drops the ball on this feature.

CareChoice One’s inflation protection option is significantly expensive compared to its competitors. Let’s use a case study to see this point.

Case Study: “Frank”

“Frank” is a 60 year old married man looking to get a CareChoice One policy. The median cost of home healthcare in his state of Texas is about $46,000 a year.

A CareChoice One policy with NO inflation protection to meet this need would require an $80,000 single premium deposit.

This would give Frank a $244,840 long-term care benefit pool (a $5,101 maximum monthly benefit) and a 48 month benefit period.

However, if Frank wanted inflation protection it would be much more costly, as stated in the MassMutual illustration:

“If you would like to have inflation protection with an initial LTC Benefit Pool of $244,840, you will need to purchase a substantially larger policy with a significantly higher premium.

CareChoice One Revised Illustration (Narrative Summary Inflation Protection Paragraph 3)

Here is a copy of the revised illustration page we are referencing:

A CareChoice One policy WITH inflation protection would cost Frank $271,000 – that’s over 3 times the amount of his original deposit!

On the other hand, Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard II can get Frank the same amount of coverage and inflation protection for $109,228!

That’s a cost savings of up to 60 percent!

4. No Flexible Premium Payment Options – Single Premium ONLY

For starters, CareChoice One is a single premium Option Only. It offers no flexible premium payment options.

For some individuals, this is not a problem.

However, not everyone is inclined to put a portion of their savings into a product all at once. Some individuals prefer to pay over time.

If you are interested in a multi-pay option, then Carechoice One is not right for you.

Is There Any Good Reason To Consider CareChoice One?

There is only one reason I can think of to consider CareChoice One and its not even related to long-term care insurance.

My reason why someone should consider is actually due to its potential as a life insurance policy.

As we know, hybrid long-term care insurance is a life insurance policy with a qualified long-term care insurance rider.

CareChoice One, although underwhelming on long-term care insurance, performs pretty well on the life insurance side. This is especially true when dividends are involved.

As a life insurance policy, CareChoice One has the potential to offer a significant death benefit IF the policy is receiving consistent dividends in the form of paid-up additions.

For example, a $100,000 premium deposit from a 60 year old male can double to over $230,000 in death benefit after 20 years of receiving dividends.

Here is a copy of the revised illustration reflecting this point:

Nevertheless, the main reason to consider CareChoice One is for its long-term care coverage.

Therefore, since my reason to consider CareChoice One is not even long-term care related, CareChoice One does not leave us with much to consider at all.

Conclusion – CareChoice One “Misses The Mark”

As we can see, CareChoice One does not give us much to consider as a hybrid long-term care insurance option. Instead, it gives us many reasons to disregard it as an option.

After a thorough review of what this policy does Not offer, it is safe to conclude that CareChoice One is not worth considering.

Although MassMutual is known as a financially strong insurance company offering quality insurance products, CareChoice One does not live up to the expectation.

Better Hybrid LTC Insurance Products Than CareChoice One

There are most definitely better hybrid LTC products available than CareChoice One.

These products include Lincoln Financial’s MoneyGuard, OneAmerica’s Asset Care, and Nationwide’s CareMatters just to name a few.

Not only are these products better priced, but they offer stronger long-term care benefits and unique features that set them apart from CareChoice One.

If you were looking to get a CareChoice One policy, I definitely would encourage you to consider these other products first.

Contact Us

If you are or were considering CareChoice One as a possible option, I would strongly recommend considering some other hybrid long-term care insurance products that may be available to you.

We can assist you with your options.

Feel free to give me a call now at 1(800) 498-3955 or request a FREE quote!

2 thoughts on “Reasons to Avoid MassMutual’s CareChoice One”

  1. How come the flexibility of being a whole life policy wasn’t mentioned? CareChoice One is a true hybrid product giving a growing cash value, death benefit and long term care pool, instead of just a big LTC pool that if you don’t use you’re SOL.

    1. Frankie,

      Thank you for your feedback on my article and for visiting my site. Let me address a couple of your points. For starters, CareChoice One is not the only hybrid product with a whole life chassis. Hence it is not unique in that regard. Secondly, MassMutual misses the goal of the target audience regarding hybrid products. Typically, individuals considering hybrid long-term care insurance are looking for long-term care insurance coverage. Cash value (Return of premium options) and Death Benefit are definitely important to them but those are secondary in their level of importance.

      CareChoice One seems to leverage your premium dollars to offer a strong cash value and death benefit but it is weak on the long-term care side. To your last point, all hybrid products we know of offer you a return of premium option or a death benefit if you don’t use your LTC benefit pool, not just CareChoice One. So why not go with the hybrid product that gives you “a big LTC pool”?

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