Life Insurance for Nursing Home Residents

Purchasing life insurance for nursing home residents can be tricky. There are restrictions on age, policy type, and death benefit amount when buying life insurance for someone in a nursing home. Guaranteed issue life insurance, senior plan life insurance, and long-term care insurance are the best life insurance policies for nursing home residents.

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Rachael Brennan has been working in the insurance industry since 2006 when she began working as a licensed insurance representative for 21st Century Insurance, during which time she earned her Property and Casualty license in all 50 states. After several years she expanded her insurance expertise, earning her license in Health and AD&D insurance as well. She has worked for small health in...

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Benjamin Carr was a licensed insurance agent in Georgia and has two years' experience in life, health, property and casualty coverage. He has worked with State Farm and other risk management firms. He is also a strategic writer and editor with a background in branding, marketing, and quality assurance. He has been in military newsrooms — literally on the frontline of journalism.

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Reviewed by Benji Carr
Former Licensed Life Insurance Agent

UPDATED: Jul 19, 2021

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Quick Facts

  • Life insurance for nursing home residents will most likely be more expensive than traditional life insurance policies.
  • Nursing home residents can expect to be limited to very few life insurance policy types.
  • Life insurance for seniors in a nursing home can have restrictions on age, company, and death benefit amount.


Life insurance for nursing home residents might be more expensive but it is possible to get. Getting life insurance for someone in a nursing home is important to provide financial security to potential beneficiaries.

We get it, shopping for life insurance isn’t always fun, but it’s necessary. That’s why we’ll help guide you through no medical exam term life insurance, life insurance for seniors, and how to buy life insurance ifor nursing home residents.

Curious about life insurance rates for seniors in nursing homes? In just a few clicks you can get personalized rates from top insurers using our FREE quote tool above – don’t wait to get started.

How do I get life insurance for someone in a nursing home?

Nursing home residents will have fewer life insurance policy options than those that are younger. It makes sense that insurance companies don’t want to provide policyholders with large death benefits that they’ll pay for over a shorter period than a healthy younger adult.

Is there a specific nursing home life insurance policy? Due to the circumstances, nursing home residents are most likely to qualify for a no exam life insurance policy. More specifically, nursing home residents will want to shop for a guaranteed issue policy. Life insurance rates for nursing home residents may also be higher.

What is a no medical exam life insurance policy?

No medical exam life insurance policies are life insurance policies that don’t require full disclosure of medical history or status. A traditional term life insurance policy requires prospective policyholders to inform them of any underlying health conditions that could put them at a greater risk of death.

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Traditional policies can often be favorable for young and healthy policyholders. No health concerns? This means cheaper life insurance rates. Numerous health conditions call for higher life insurance rates.

What’s the catch? No exam life insurance policies tend to cost significantly more than traditional life insurance policies. Beyond price, no medical exam policies tend to carry more restrictions. These restrictions include age, death benefits, and some companies that offer no exam policies.

What is a guaranteed issue policy?

Guaranteed issue life insurance policies are the most common life insurance policies for nursing home residents. In short, guaranteed issue policies are a type of no exam life insurance policy that is designed to provide coverage last-resort.

A guaranteed issue policy is risky to purchase, even for nursing home residents. Why? Guaranteed issue policies are usually expensive, have coverage amounts under $25,000, and have rules that could further reduce the death benefit unless the policyholder dies from an accident.

Nursing home residents who purchase guaranteed issue life insurance should do so if they think they will be around for another two or three years, depending on their insurance company. Otherwise, the company might not pay out when the time comes.

Guaranteed Issue Life Insurance Rates
 $250,000 - Male (65)$250,000 - Female (65)$500,000 - Male (65)$500,000 - Female (65)
Whole Life$1038.68$868.24$2070.75$1729.88
Guaranteed Issue$1558.02$1302.36$3106.13$2594.82
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In many cases, guaranteed issue policies cost about 1.5 times that of a whole life insurance policy which is sampled above. Keep in mind with the above rates that most companies won’t offer coverage of $250,000 for guaranteed issue life insurance.

On the positive side, guaranteed issue policies are issued instantly if you are approved. This makes it a little easier to make adjustments on the go. An added bonus is that your premiums won’t change. Level premiums for nursing home residents provides some financial consistency.

So, who should buy guaranteed issue life insurance? Again, guaranteed issue life insurance should be used as a last resort. If you have special conditions that a life insurance wouldn’t typically cover, guaranteed issue is the way to go.

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Is there burial insurance for nursing home residents?

What is burial insurance? Burial insurance is typically available for people who don’t have a ton of assets but still don’t want to burden their family with the high costs associated with a funeral. Sometimes this is called senior plan life insurance.

For most insurance companies, getting burial insurance when living in a nursing home just won’t happen. In the rare case that it does, expect to pay.

When is the best time to buy burial insurance? Your best bet would be to purchase burial insurance before moving into a nursing home. Are there any non-burial insurance options for nursing home residents?

If you’re already a nursing home resident, your best option is likely still a guaranteed issue life insurance policy. As mentioned before, you’ll probably have to do some shopping to find a company willing to provide you a policy if you’re living in a nursing home.

Can a nursing home take my life insurance?

Once you go through all of the trouble of shopping for life insurance in a nursing home, you want to be sure that the death benefit makes it to your beneficiaries. Can nursing homes take your life insurance from your beneficiary? No, but that doesn’t mean they won’t try.

The sad truth is that some nursing homes and insurance companies might try to take advantage of nursing home residents, assuming their beneficiaries don’t know their rights.

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It helps to make sure your beneficiaries know that you have life insurance. If you’re a senior in a nursing home and have life insurance just to have a proper funeral, you also have the option of assigning the benefits to a funeral home.

Can a nursing home take your life insurance? They can’t take it, as in theft, or take it directly for payment. There is specific insurance designed to help pay for nursing home expenses, however.

Can nursing home residents get long-term care insurance?

First off, what is long-term care insurance? Long-term care insurance is designed to help pay for the daily costs of nursing home care, whether it’s home health or in a nursing home. There’s a lot of differences when breaking down long-term care insurance vs life insurance.

Like most other insurance policies, long-term care insurance has restrictions such as age, health status, and more. In this case, living in a nursing home will likely exclude you from purchasing life insurance with long-term care benefits.

If you anticipate moving into a nursing home at any point, long-term care insurance is a good investment. This can help lessen the burden of a nursing home or home health expenses in the future.

What is the average cost per day of a nursing home stay? In many places, this can be in excess of $40,000 to $80,000 per year. This breaks down to $110 to $220 per day.

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In certain cases, you might be able to get away with using life insurance to pay for long-term care. Using life insurance for long-term care would be possible if you used the cash value from a whole life insurance policy or universal life insurance policy.

With some conversion riders, you might even have the option of converting life insurance to long-term care. Companies sometimes list long-term care insurance differently, so you may want to keep an eye out for life insurance with a long-term care rider.

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Does Medicaid pay for life insurance?

Medicaid is a useful assistance program that can provide financial support to aging adults. Does Medicaid pay for life insurance? Not quite. In fact, Medicaid has some restrictions against certain types of life insurance.

Medicaid is available to seniors who need financial assistance to afford reasonable healthcare. Certain life insurance policies, such as whole life insurance policies, accrue a cash value that can serve as a loan to an extent. This is treated as an asset and can cause complications with Medicaid.

Does medicare cover living in a nursing home? If you do have Medicaid, you may qualify for their long-term care insurance. This is a nice bonus for seniors who need life insurance and are expecting to need skilled assistance to live.

Medicaid has some state-by-state restrictions on things like assets. Eligibility will depend on the state you live in. For example, Ohio doesn’t allow policyholders to have a cash surrender value of over $1,500, according to Lawriter.

Will life insurance affect Medicaid eligibility? It can. If you currently have Medicaid, you’ll want to ask them about potential eligibility concerns if you decided to purchase life insurance.

Can Medicaid take your life insurance after you die? Again, despite the potential for the company to want reimbursement for funds paid, they cannot take your life insurance benefits. Make sure your beneficiaries know.

Life Insurance for Nursing Home Residents: The Bottom Line

At the end of the day, nursing home residents need life insurance just as much as anyone else, if not more. The key to getting life insurance for nursing home patients is to purchase a policy before moving into a nursing home.

If you live in a nursing home, you will be severely limited to fewer policies, lower death benefits, and less competitive life insurance rates. That doesn’t mean there isn’t affordable life insurance for nursing home residents out there.

Want to start shopping for high-quality life insurance even in a nursing home? Take advantage of our FREE quote tool below to get instant life insurance quotes for nursing home residents from top life insurance companies today.

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