As traditional long-term care coverage continues to lose ground -- due to escalating premiums, greater numbers of claims, lower returns and lower mortality rates -- a new set of insurance products has been gaining ground.

Unlike most traditional long-term care policies, this new series of so-called "combo" products offers living benefits beyond a mere death benefit. These combination or hybrid products package long-term care coverage with a life insurance policy or annuity-like product, providing for critical, chronic or terminal illness along with a death benefit.

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