Founded in 1880 as the Banker’s Association of Minnesota, Minnesota Life quickly became a pioneer in the insurance industry and was the first company to offer flexible life insurance policies. Today, it operates under the banner of Securian Financial Group. Minnesota Life offers individual and group insurance along with other products such as annuities and retirement planning.
Life Insurance/Long-Term Care Hybrid Policy
While there are still plenty of traditional long-term care insurance policies out there, recent years have seen rising interest in what are known as hybrid policies. These are life insurance policies that can also be used to help fund long-term care. Hybrid policies are designed with flexibility in mind, allowing the policyholder to put a portion of their death benefit towards long-term care while he or she is still alive. Any funds not used for this purpose will then go to their heirs as usual once the policyholder passes away. While a hybrid strategy such as this will often cost more than traditional long-term care insurance, it also helps to ensure that policyholders are getting the most from their investment.
What sets the hybrid offered by Minnesota Life apart from those available through many other companies is that it is a traditional indemnity policy. Most hybrid life/LTC policies are reimbursement policies, which require you to submit documentation for all of your long-term care expenses before you can receive your monthly LTC benefit. A traditional indemnity policy like Minnesota Life’s is different – it allows you to receive your benefit even with documentation for just a small portion of your expenses or even just documentation of informal care. This means a lot less paperwork, time, and worry on the part of the person making the claims. Other notable features and options include inflation protection, a variety of benefit periods, and, as mentioned above, the ability to receive benefits for informal care provided by family and friends.
Reputation and Financial Strength
Minnesota Life’s parent company, Securian Financial Group, has received very good scores from all four major independent rating agencies – they were awarded an A+ (superior) from A.M. Best, an AA (very strong) from Fitch, an Aa3 (excellent) from Moody’s Investors Service, and an AA- (very strong) from Standard & Poor’s. While a company should not be judged on financial strength alone, these scores are important because they help to predict that company’s ability to pay out claims in the future. It is worth noting, however, that Minnesota Life’s reviews from customers are not as favorable as its financial ratings. Many people report the company taking an unreasonably long time to approve claims or pay benefits. Unexpected rate increases have also been an issue.
Be sure to take a look at our other articles to learn more about the various companies offering LTC insurance and LTC/life insurance hybrids. You can find further information on the benefits and drawbacks of hybrid policies in our first article on alternatives to traditional long-term care insurance. Remember – these policies and the companies that issue them can differ greatly, so it really does pay to do your research and shop around.
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