In approved states, MetLife is introducing the Enhanced Care Benefit as a rider available on its entire whole life portfolio, for policies first sold after September 3, 2013. This enhancement is designed to provide consumers with greater flexibility and convenience when it comes to meeting their insurance needs. Consumers will now have the option to use their life insurance to not only help protect against the consequences of an untimely death, but also, by accelerating a portion of the death benefit in the event of the insured’s prolonged illness against the consequences of the costs associated with ongoing care necessitated by such an illness.
“This enhancement will provide producers and customers alike with a solution-oriented whole life portfolio,” said Gene Lunman, senior vice president, MetLife. “For the financial professional, they now have the distinct advantage of providing customers with a new offering that our research suggests consumers have a great interest in having included in their policy. For consumers, they are receiving greater flexibility, and a new benefit that allows them to help meet alternative financial needs with one policy.”
The Enhanced Care Benefit provides policyowners the ability to accelerate, generally on an income tax free basis subject to certain limits, up to 90 percent of a policy’s death benefit over the life of the policy which can be used to help pay for ongoing care if an insured develops a prolonged illness. The rider can be included on all MetLife Promise Whole Life SM policies at no additional premium charge. However, there will be a processing fee of $150 and the amount of money accessed will be discounted by a certain percentage, but consumers will not have to pay anything out-of-pocket to access the Enhanced Care Benefit.
“The Enhanced Care Benefit offers consumers the confidence that if the insured incurs a covered prolonged illness, the policyowner will have access to money to help pay for the unexpected and substantial expenses often associated with ongoing care either in their home or in a facility,” explains Lunman. “By including the Enhanced Care Benefit on a policy, people will be getting another level of financial protection in the unfortunate event of the insured having a prolonged illness.”