NEWARK, N.J.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Prudential’s Individual Life Insurance business is rolling out an optional rider on its PruLife Universal Protector policy, at an additional cost, that lets consumers use the death benefit to cover costs associated with a chronic or terminal illness.
“A unique aspect of the benefit is that it can provide for expenses unrelated to care like home modifications, income replacement, household chores or mortgage payments for example”
A similar rider was first introduced by The Hartford’s individual life insurance business, which was acquired by Prudential early this year. “The introduction of the BenefitAccess rider on our guaranteed universal life product marks a significant milestone in the process of integrating The Hartford and Prudential’s individual life businesses,” said Mark Hug, Executive Vice President, Product and Marketing, Prudential Individual Life Insurance. “We anticipate making it available on more policies as we continue to refine the overall product portfolio.”
Consumers are looking for additional benefits from life insurance, particularly those that address financial hardships that can surface in the course of a lifetime. “The rider takes an innovative approach to protecting people from the financial impact of a chronic illness and has been well received in the marketplace over the last several years, according to Hug. In fact, the system that supports it has been patented. “One of the distinctions between BenefitAccess and a long-term care rider is that it pays based on a condition, not for specific care of a condition,” says Hug.
Here is how it works: Once the claim criteria is satisfied, a policyholder can advance the death benefit and use the money for expenses such as reimbursing family members for care, paying someone to help at home, in a facility or elsewhere. “A unique aspect of the benefit is that it can provide for expenses unrelated to care like home modifications, income replacement, household chores or mortgage payments for example,” added Hug.
If you qualify under the terms and conditions of the rider, you can access your death benefit if you become chronically or terminally ill. For a chronic illness, a licensed health care practitioner would need to certify that the insured is unable to perform at least two activities of daily living for a period of at least 90 days or if supervision is required to protect them from threats to their health and safety due to severe cognitive impairment. The physician must also certify that the insured is unlikely to recover from the illness, which is often the case for those who have suffered a heart attack, stroke or been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. For a terminal illness, a licensed healthcare practitioner would need to certify that the insured has a medical condition that is reasonably expected to result in his/her death in six months or less.
“The combination of PruLife Universal Life Protector with BenefitAccess provides a product that can help consumers address their life insurance, chronic illness, and terminal illness protection needs–with one policy,” said Hug.
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PruLife Universal Protector is issued by Pruco Life Insurance Company in all states except New York, where it is issued by PrucoLife Insurance Company of New Jersey. Each is a Prudential Financial company located in Newark, NJ, and is solely responsible for its own financial condition and contractual obligations. The contract number is ULNLG-2013 and may be followed by a state code. Not available in all states.. All guarantees are based on the claims-paying ability of the issuing company.
The BenefitAccess Rider is available for an extra premium. Additional underwriting requirements and limits may also apply. Obtaining benefits under the terms of the rider will reduce and may eliminate the death benefit.
Benefits paid under the BenefitAccess Rider are intended to be treated for federal tax purposes as accelerated life insurance death benefits under IRC §101(g)(1)(b).Tax laws related to the receipt of accelerated death benefits are complex and may be taxable in certain circumstances. Receipt of benefits may affect eligibility for public assistance programs such as Medicaid. Accelerated benefits paid under the terms of the Terminal Illness portion of the rider are subject to a $150 processing fee ($100 in FL). You should consult your tax and legal advisors prior to initiating any claim.
BenefitAccess covered by U.S. Patent No. 7,958,035, which was issued on the insurance product management system for an accelerated benefit provided in response to a medical condition, where the benefit is paid to the policy owner without restriction on use of proceed
A licensed health care practitioner must certify the chronic or terminal illness to qualify for benefits. Chronic illness claims will require recertification by a licensed health care practitioner. Other terms and conditions may apply. This rider is not long-term care (LTC) insurance and it is not intended to replace LTC. The rider may not cover all of the costs associated with chronic illness. The rider is a life insurance accelerated death benefit product, is generally not subject to health insurance requirements, and may not be available in all states.
If you qualify under the terms of the conditions of the rider, you can access your death benefit if you become chronically or terminally ill. For a chronic illness, a licensed health care practitioner would need to certify that the insured in unable to perform at least two activities of daily living for a period of at least 90 days. The physician must also certify that the insured in unlikely to recover from the illness, which is often the case of those who suffered a heart attack, stroke or been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. For terminal illness, a licensed healthcare practitioner would need to certify that the insured has a medical condition that is reasonably expected to result in his/her death in six months or less. Currently the rider is only available on PruLife Universal Life policies but they do plan on making it available on more policies as they refine the overall product portfolio.