What About My Spouse?

Can I Get More Than My Benefit?

Shared care is a very economical and tactically useful benefit.  It should be included in every couple's limited benefit period policies. 

You must both apply for your policies at the same time and have identical basic benefits in order to be able to include a provision for shared care.

Consider, for example,  the $300,000 pool of money described  earlier.  If you and your partner individually apply for such a benefit and you each include shared care on your applications, one of you could have access to $600,000 in the event of a claim.

Shared care , in its most basic form, allows one insured, should he or she exhaust their own policy’s benefits, to access the unused benefits of their partner. 

Note, however, that there are differences between companies in how they structure their shared care benefit. 

One may require that, for example, a year's worth of a spouse's benefit be left for the healthy spouse.  Consequently, if each of you have a basic 3 year maximum benefit with a $180,000 pool of money, with shared care the spouse on claim may only have a $300,000 pool (3 x 12 x $5,000 + 2 x 12 x $5,000), not $360,000.

Another company may provide for full access to the healthy spouse's available benefit, thus creating the possibility of a 6 year benefit period ($360,000) for one person. 

And another company may structure its shared care benefit as a separate benefit pool accessible by either spouse on claim, after exhausting their own benefit pool, until the separate pool is itself exhausted.

Shared care is not available with hybrid nor with linked benefit policies.