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National Guardian Life EssentialLTC: 2023 Long-Term Care Insurance Review

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National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) offers one long-term care insurance policy: EssentialLTC, which was released in July 2016. EssentialLTC is a stand-alone long-term care (LTC) insurance policy; it is not a hybrid product that combines LTC with other insurance products, such as life insurance or annuities.

EssentialLTC is a highly-customizable LTC policy with industry-standard policy standard features and a wide variety of optional benefits. Read on to learn more:

National Guardian Life EssentialLTC policy features

Standard features of the National Guardian Life's EssentialLTC plan include:

  • Daily benefit amounts between $50 and $300
  • Elimination period choices of 30, 90, or 180 days
  • Benefit period: choices of 2-year and 3-year (can be extended with rider)
  • International benefits
  • Care coordination benefit
  • Waiver of premium
  • Emergency response system benefits

The EssentialLTC plan also offers a range of optional benefits, such as:

  • Joint pricing structure for couples
  • Benefit period extension rider that extends the 3-year benefit period to either a 4-year, 5-year, 6-year, or lifetime benefit period
  • Shared benefit amount rider for couples that extends care for a longer period
  • Inflation protection rider of 3% or 5%
  • Limited return of premium rider
  • Limited return of premium with optional policy surrender rider
  • First-day home and community care services benefit rider
  • Shortened-benefit period nonforfeiture rider

National Guardian Life’s LTC insurance is guaranteed renewable for life, and premiums can only be changed if they’re changed for everyone in your state.

EssentialLTC will pay benefits if you are diagnosed as being chronically ill. This means that within the previous 12 months, you have been certified by a Licensed Healthcare Practitioner as being unable to perform two activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, continence, toileting, or transferring) for a period expected to last at least 90 days or require substantial supervision due to severe cognitive impairments (dementia, Alzheimer’s).

What does EssentialLTC cover?

EssentialLTC provides the standard benefits found in most LTC insurance policies:

  • Assisted living facility care
  • Nursing home care
  • Home health care
  • Adult daycare
  • Hospice care
  • Facility bed reservation
  • Caregiver training

Learn More: How Much Does Long-Term Care Insurance Cost?

National Guardian Life long-term care pros & cons


  • Single-premium, 10-pay, and 1035 exchange premium payment options
  • Lifetime benefit option available
  • The policy is guaranteed renewable


  • Not available in all states
  • No pricing available on the website
  • Very conservative underwriting

About National Guardian Life Insurance Company

National Guardian Life Insurance Company (NGL) was founded in 1910 and has its home office in Madison, Wisconsin. NGL is a mutual company, meaning it is owned by its policyholders. It is licensed to do business in 49 states and the District of Columbia. The company’s CEO is Knut Olson.

NGL sells its insurance products through a network of “partners.” These are independent agents/brokers contracted to sell NGL insurance products, such as pre-need life insurance, Medicare insurance, and long-term care insurance. Agents are supported by a dedicated “Agent Support Team” staffed by National Guardian Life employees.

In 2020, National Guardian Life’s consolidated statutory assets grew to $4.8 billion, the highest level in the company’s history.

In 2011, NGL received an A- rating from A.M. Best. That rating was upgraded in 2021 to A (Excellent). NGL Is not rated by other major rating services (Standard & Poor’s, Moody’s, Fitch).

Is EssentialLTC right for you?

National Guardian Life’s EssentialLTC policy is a good choice for those looking for a policy with the expected LTC benefits but who want the security of having a lifetime payment benefit period with no lifetime maximum benefit amount. It’s also one of the most customizable LTC policies on the market today.

The information and content provided herein is for educational purposes only, and should not be considered legal, tax, investment, or financial advice, recommendation, or endorsement. Breeze does not guarantee the accuracy, completeness, reliability or usefulness of any testimonials, opinions, advice, product or service offers, or other information provided here by third parties. Individuals are encouraged to seek advice from their own tax or legal counsel.

— Published December 30, 2022
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