Fearing High Costs and Loss of Independence, Americans are Concerned about Having a Chronic Illness

MassMutual introduces a chronic care benefit available @work to provide financial support to individuals and families facing hurdles due to chronic illness

  • Four out of five (79%) are concerned about suffering a chronic or long-term condition or illness as they age, with one-third (32%) being ‘very concerned.’
  • More than half (57%) reported that at least one member of their family has experienced the need for chronic care.
  • Among the top concerns about the need for chronic care in retirement are the expense of needing care for several months or years (28%), losing the ability to remain independent (25%) or remain active (18%), and becoming isolated at home or a nursing home (14%).

SPRINGFIELD, Mass.--()--With so many Americans concerned about needing chronic care as they age according to a new study1 by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company (MassMutual), the company has introduced a new chronic care benefit for life insurance certificates available through the workplace to add to its suite of solutions for aging individuals.

Chronic illness means the insured is permanently unable to perform without substantial assistance at least two activities of daily living (ADLs) (bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting and continence) due to loss of functional capacity, or needing substantial supervision to protect the insured due to a permanent severe cognitive impairment.

According to MassMutual research, more than half (57%) reported that at least one member of their family has experienced the need for chronic care and to cover the associated costs with chronic illness or physical disability after age 65, nearly two in five (39%) tapped into their retirement savings.

“Our new chronic care benefit is designed to provide financial support through another benefit that many already have through their workplace – life insurance,” said Shefali Desai, head of worksite, MassMutual. “Sadly, many Americans will be diagnosed with a chronic illness, which can be costly and pose an emotional and financial burden on families.”

The benefit is available on all new and inforce (existing) group whole and group universal life insurance certificates and will allow certificate owners to receive a lump sum advance, or acceleration, of a portion of their certificate’s death benefit to use as needed if they are chronically ill1. Importantly, a certificate owner pays for the benefit only if they use it, and there are no additional out-of-pocket costs.2 The accelerated life insurance benefit is neither long term care insurance nor nursing home care insurance. For those who qualify, the chronic care benefit can be used as needed by the certificate owner, such as making home alterations to accommodate a disability or hiring a home assistant.

“This new benefit is yet another demonstration of MassMutual’s commitment to helping people as they age,” said Paul Lapiana, head of product, MassMutual. “The need for chronic care can be one of the most significant challenges a person can face in their lifetime, and we remain steadfast in our longtime commitment to providing options for financial support.”

Methodology

*The MassMutual Chronic Care Research Study, conducted by PSB Research, polled 1,250 adults aged 30 -60. The Survey was completed in November 2019 and published June 2020.

About MassMutual

MassMutual is a leading mutual life insurance company that is run for the benefit of its members and participating policyowners. MassMutual offers a wide range of financial products and services, including life insurance, disability income insurance, long term care insurance, annuities, retirement plans and other employee benefits. For more information, visit www.massmutual.com.

1 The payment of the Chronic Care Benefit will reduce the certificate’s death benefit and any cash value. The certificate’s premium payments will then be based on the reduced amount of insurance and the rates in effect for the policy.

Receipt of the Chronic Care Benefit under the certificate MAY AFFECT MEDICAID and SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (“SSI”) eligibility. Contact the Medicaid Unit of the local Department of Public Welfare and the Social Security Administration Office for more information.

2 The Chronic Care Benefit is intended to qualify for favorable tax treatment under Section 101(g) of the Internal Revenue Code. Based upon the current tax code, benefits provided by this Endorsement may be taxable if the Insured is not the certificate owner, the spouse of the certificate owner, or the dependent child of the certificate owner. Certificate owners should seek tax advice from their tax advisor prior to requesting a Chronic Care Benefit payment.

The information provided is not written or intended as specific tax or legal advice. MassMutual, its subsidiaries, employees and representatives are not authorized to give tax or legal advice. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel. The products and/or certain features may not be available in all states. State variations may apply.

The products and/or certain features may not be available in all states. State variations will apply.

Group Whole Life Insurance (GPWL), (policy/certificate forms MM-GPWL-2014 and MM-GCWL-2014, and MM-GPWL-2014 (NC) and MM-GCWL-2014 (NC) in North Carolina), is level-premium, participating permanent life insurance. The GPWL policy and GCWL certificates are issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001.

Group Universal Life Insurance (GPUL), (policy/certificate forms MM-GPUL-2015 and MM-GCUL-2015, and MM-GPUL-2015 (NC) and MM-GCUL-2015 (NC) in North Carolina), is flexible premium, non-participating permanent life insurance. The GPUL policy and GCUL certificates are issued by Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Company, Springfield, MA 01111-0001.

CRN202206-265522

Contacts

Paula Tremblay, ptremblay@massmutual.com

Release Summary

Fearing High Costs and Loss of Independence, Americans are Concerned about Having a Chronic Illness

Contacts

Paula Tremblay, ptremblay@massmutual.com