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Published: Aug 24, 2023 15 min read

There's no way to fully protect yourself against future health conditions or cognitive decline, but long-term care (LTC) insurance can help you cover some of the high — and ever increasing — costs of extended care. More importantly, it can help you afford the care you want to receive, even if you're preference is to age in place and have a family member be your primary caregiver.

While Transamerica was not among our top picks for the best long-term care insurance companies and no longer issues new LTC insurance policies, it offers a long-term care rider you can add to some of its life insurance policies. This rider allows you to tap into your death benefit ahead of time to cover qualified long-term care expenses.

In this article, we explore the pros and cons of Transamerica's long-term care offering and provide other company details to help you decide if it's the right option for you. Read on to find out more.

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Transamerica long-term care insurance pros and cons

Pros
  • Offers long-term care coverage through a life insurance rider
  • Broad selection of other life insurance riders
  • Express underwriting for whole life insurance
  • Indexed Universal Life policies available
Cons
  • No longer sells long-term care insurance policies
  • Low J.D. Power score
  • Can't file claims online
  • LTC rider has a 90-day elimination period

Pros explained

Offers long-term care coverage through a life insurance rider

Most long-term care insurance providers sell either stand-alone long-term care insurance or hybrid life and long-term care policies. While more expensive, hybrid life and long-term care insurance could be worth it for those who want a benefit that will pay out regardless of whether they require care. These policies are generally permanent life insurance with built-in long-term care benefits.

Now, Transmerica no longer issues stand-alone long-term care insurance policies, but you can add a long-term care rider to your life insurance with the company, where available. This rider allows you, the prospective policyholder, to tap into your policy's death benefit if you require long-term care.

To receive funding from the policy through the long-term care rider, a licensed healthcare professional must certify you have a severe cognitive impairment or are unable to perform at least two out of six activities of daily living — which are eating, toileting, dressing, bathing, continence and transfering.

Broad selection of other life insurance riders

If you opt for a whole or indexed universal life insurance policy with Transamerica, you can further customize it with a wide selection of add-ons. These include living benefit riders that let you access your death benefit early if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness, forgo paying premiums if you become disabled, add life insurance for your children or get additional life insurance coverage in the future regardless of medical conditions.

Express underwriting for whole life insurance

Transamerica's express underwriting process for whole life insurance policies allows for quick approval decisions and often eliminates the need for medical exams and lab tests. Whole life policies offer guaranteed cash value accumulation, level premiums and a guaranteed death benefit. They can also be customized through several different riders.

Indexed Universal Life policies available

Transamerica offers two Indexed Universal Life (IUL) policies, both of which can be paired with optional accelerated death benefit riders. IULs grow cash value by earning interest based on a stock market index. This allows for flexible premium payments and the potential for higher growth than you'd tend to find with traditional universal life insurance policies.

Cons explained

No longer issues new long-term care insurance policies

Since 2021, Transamerica no longer issues new long-term care insurance policies. However, that decision shouldn't affect existing policyholders. Their LTC insurance policies should remain in force as long as they keep up with premium payments.

Low J.D. Power ranking

In J.D. Power's 2022 Individual Life Insurance Study, Transamerica ranked 21st out of 22 companies for Overall Customer Satisfaction with a score of 740 out of a possible 1,000 points. Its score was 43 points under the industry average based on factors such as communication and interaction with customers, price, product offering and policy statements.

Can't file claims online

You can't file a claim online with Transamerica. You'll need to register your policy, log into your online account, print the appropriate claims form and mail it in. You can also call customer support during business hours — Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST — to get assistance with filing a claim.

LTC rider has a 90-day elimination period

Transamerica's long-term care rider has a 90-day elimination period. This means that you'll need to incur out-of-pocket long-term care expenses for 90 days before you can receive funding from the rider.

Paying for 90 days of long-term care out of pocket can be very expensive, with the nationwide median cost of a private room in a nursing home estimated to be about $9,000 per month. Other long-term care providers offer different elimination period options from 0 to 365 days. The shorter the elimination period, the more expensive the policy.

Transamerica long-term care insurance offerings

Transamerica offers a selection of life insurance products, including term, whole and indexed universal life policies. Contact a Transamerica agent to confirm whether the policy you're interested in can be paired with a long-term car rider. Availability, benefits and terms may vary by state.

Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL)

Indexed Universal Life (IUL) plans are whole life insurance policies with a cash value that grows by earning interest based on a stock market index. They have a higher potential for growth than traditional policies, although they're subject to the ups and downs of stock markets. Like traditional policies, they include a death benefit that is paid out to your beneficiaries if you die while covered by the plan.

Transamerica Financial Foundation IUL (FFIUL) is an IUL with an interest floor that ensures you'll always earn a minimum positive interest rate regardless of stock market performance. There are two stock index options available, including the Global Index Account and the S&P 500 Index Account.

Other features of FFIUL include:

  • Minimum coverage amount of $25,000
  • Available in all 50 states
  • Issue age 0-85 (0-75 in Florida)
  • Monthly fee: $10 to a guaranteed maximum of $12
  • Index account monthly charge: 0.06% of index account value

There are as many as 14 riders available, including three living benefit riders that let you access the death benefit of your plan if you are diagnosed with a qualifying illness. Where available, you may have the option of adding a long-term care rider to cover expenses like residential living facilities and in-home care if you become chronically ill.

Transamerica Financial Choice IUL (FCIUL)

Transamerica Financial Choice IUL (FCIUL) is another indexed universal life policy with optional living benefit riders. Like other universal life plans, it includes a death benefit and a cash value. The minimum policy amount is $250,000, and it's available in all states except New York.

FCIUL has five stock index options, including:

  • Fidelity Small-Mid Multifactor Index Index Account
  • Global Index Account
  • S&P 500 Index Account
  • Global Plus Index Account
  • S&P 500 Plus Index Account

This policy has a 0.25% interest floor which ensures you'll always earn a minimum interest rate regardless of stock market performance. This can be particularly appealing to high earners looking to grow their investment while minimizing their taxable income.

Whole life insurance

Whole life policies are a type of permanent life insurance that covers you for your entire life, as long you pay the premiums. They include a death benefit that's paid out to your beneficiaries if you die while the policy is in force. It also accumulates a cash value that you can borrow against during your lifetime.

Transamerica's whole life insurance policy, called Lifetime, is available in all states except New York. It provides a guaranteed death benefit and guaranteed cash value with a premium that will never increase.

This policy is highly customizable, with nine optional riders from which to choose. Some of these include a children's benefit rider, a guaranteed insurability rider and an income protection option. The policy includes a terminal illness accelerated death benefit rider at no extra cost. Policies with a minimum of $250,000 in coverage are available to foreign nationals.

Term life insurance

Term life policies include a death benefit that is paid to your beneficiary if you die during the coverage term. They don't accumulate a cash value, so you can't borrow against the policy.

Transamerica offers two term life insurance policies: Trendsetter LB and Trendsetter Super. Both plans are available to individuals 18 to 80 years old and have term durations of 10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years. Policies of up to $2 million don't require a medical exam.

Trendsetter LB provides between $25,000 and $2 million in coverage and automatically includes advanced death benefit riders for terminal, critical and chronic illnesses. You can further customize the policy with five other optional riders.

Trendsetter Super offers from $25,000 to over $10,000,000 in coverage. It automatically includes an accelerated death benefit rider for terminal illness, but you can also choose from four additional optional riders.

Transamerica long-term care insurance pricing

Pricing information for Transamerica long-term care insurance isn't available online. You'll need to work with a financial professional to get a quote. You can find an agent near you by calling 800-797-5498 or using a tool on Transamerica's website.

The cost of Transamerica's policies is based on a variety of factors, including:

  • Your age and sex
  • The type of policy you choose
  • Your coverage amount
  • Your health and lifestyle
  • Whether you use tobacco products
  • Any optional riders you select

Transamerica long-term care insurance financial stability

Transamerica is a financially stable company. In 2022, it received the following ratings for its financial strength:

  • A.M. Best: A
  • Moody's: A1
  • Standard and Poor's: A+

These ratings indicate Transamerica's ability to pay out claims in the near future.

Transamerica long-term care insurance accessibility

Availability

Transamerica life insurance is available in all 50 states, although offerings vary by state. For example, the long-term care rider isn't available in all states. You'll need to speak to an agent to determine if it's available in your location.

Contact information

You can reach Transamerica by phone at 800-797-2643 Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also fill out a web form to request support.

User experience

You can read about Transamerica life insurance plans and its long-term care rider on the company's website. However, its online brochures contain information that may be outdated and could be confusing to consumers. We suggest you contact a Transamerica agent to learn more about policies, availability and pricing.

Transamerica doesn't process claims online. You'll have to log into your online account, print the appropriate claims form and mail it to the company. You can also call customer service during business hours to get help filing a claim.

Many customers on third-party consumer review sites report unresponsive customer service and difficulty getting claims approved or receiving payments.

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Transamerica long-term care insurance customer satisfaction

Transamerica ranked second to last for overall customer satisfaction in J.D. Power's 2022 Individual Life Insurance Study. It received 740 out of 1,000 possible points, well below the industry average. This study took into account the experience of 5,583 individual life insurance customers, measuring their satisfaction with the company's product offerings, price, statements, interaction and communication.

On the Better Business Bureau website, Transamerica holds a customer review rating of 1.08 out of 5 stars based on 190 reviews. It has also received 481 complaints closed in the last three years, most of which are about issues with the company's products and services.

Transamerica long-term care insurance FAQs

Is Transamerica long-term care insurance legit?

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Although it has a significant number of dissatisfied customers, Transamerica is a legitimate insurance company. It is not accredited by the Better Business Bureau but has an A rating with the organization and has been in business for over 100 years.

Since 2021, Transamerica is not issuing new long-term care insurance policies, yet it still sells a long-term care rider you can add to some of insurance products, where available. Existing policyholders should not be affected by this decision; their policy should remain in force as long as they keep up with premium payments.

Are there complaints against Transamerica for long-term care insurance?

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In the past three years, Transamerica has closed 480 complaints against it on the Better Business Bureau's website. While there are few complaints regarding the company's long-term care insurance product, these reference issues with claims payments not being disbursed on time. There are also many reports of unresponsive customer service.

What is the elimination period for Transamerica long-term care?

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There is a 90-day elimination period for Transamerica's long-term care rider, meaning you'll need to pay out-of-pocket long-term care expenses for 90 days before your benefits begin.

How do I contact Transamerica long-term care?

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You can call Transamerica about your long-term care policy at 800-797-2643, Monday through Friday, 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. EST. You can also fill out a ticket on the website to request support.

How we evaluated Transamerica long-term care insurance

We considered many factors when evaluating Transamerica long-term care insurance, including:

  • Plan selection: When reviewing Transamerica long-term care insurance, we considered the selection of life insurance offerings, including term life, whole life and indexed universal life insurance plans.
  • Customization: We evaluated the selection of riders available for each policy and the ease of customizing policies.
  • User experience: We considered the user experience, including ease of application and filing claims.
  • Accessibility: We evaluated the availability of Transamerica life insurance and long-term care based on availability, contact methods and user experience.
  • Customer satisfaction: We determined customer satisfaction with Transamerica long-term care by reading reviews from actual customers across third-party review sites. We also considered the latest J.D. Power Individual Life Insurance Study.

Summary of Money's Transamerica long-term care insurance review

Transamerica offers a wide selection of life insurance policies and optional riders. Accelerated death benefit riders allow policyholders to access a portion of a policy's death benefit to pay for qualified care.

Transamerica also sells a long-term care rider you can add to some of its permanent life insurance policies, but it only appears to be available for the FFIUL policy (an indexed universal life insurance plan) and only select states. This rider has a 90-day elimination period.

Transamerica is a legitimate and financially strong business, but customer satisfaction with the company and its long-term care products is consistently low.

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