How does a 'Shared Care' Rider Work with Long Term Care Insurance?

Long Term Care Insurance

Since November is National Long Term Care Awareness month, let’s dig in a little deeper to describe a rider that could be critical when you’re considering which policy to get.

Most people are worried that they might never need long term care. The reality is that once we get into our older years, we’re either going to start losing our independence physically or cognitively. In some cases - both. When this happens, there really isn’t any other way to pay for potential care you might need unless you own a long term care insurance policy.

You can have several different riders for long term care, but the one I want to discuss today is called a “shared” care rider. What does this rider do? Well, it really protects us against the two things we fear the most. The first one is a pre-deceasing scenario. “What if I go into a nursing home and have a 3 year benefit period but pass away in 3 months”? The thought here would be you paid premiums all those years but only used a very small portion of your long term care benefits. It’s true that without a shared rider, your benefits would pass with you, however if you have a long term care shared rider, any remaining pool of money left in your contract is now available to your surviving spouse.

So that pre-deceasing scenario is only one side of the coin. What if the opposite happens and you end up needing more care than the national average? The nice thing about the shared rider is that if you have a longevity scenario, like Alzheimers or Dementia, should you completely exhaust your bucket of money, the shared care rider allows you to dip into your spouse’s benefit pool.

If you’re a husband and wife considering a long term care insurance policy, be sure to investigate this rider. The cost of the rider isn’t expensive, but the benefit it provides is priceless. 

About the author: Mark Yurkovic has been in the life insurance business for over 12 years, and holds CLTC, LUTCF, and CES designations. He enjoys building remote control boats, and playing instruments including the piano, guitar, banjo, and mandolin. Mark would love to discuss life insurance options and work towards finding the best policy fit for your family. You can contact Mark at 1-800-651-1953 or