In the aftermath of losing a loved one, life insurance benefits can help ease your financial worries. Funeral expenses and unexpected medical bills that aren't covered by Medicare or health insurance add insult to injury for grieving family members. The Metropolitan Life Insurance Company (MetLife) has a benefits settlement option called the MetLife Total Control Account, also known as the MetLife TCA, which offers flexible spending options to meet different needs.
MetLife TCA Beneficiary Requirement
If you're the beneficiary of $7,500 or more in settlement proceeds from a MetLife insurance or annuity contract, MetLife typically establishes a MetLife TCA for you as soon as your claim is approved. One exception is if the insured preselected a different settlement option for you.
If you're the beneficiary of less than $7,500 in settlement proceeds from a MetLife insurance or annuity contract (or if you're a resident of a foreign country), MetLife typically pays your claim with a lump-sum check.
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How a MetLife TCA Works
If MetLife establishes a MetLife TCA for you, you'll receive a kit that includes a "checkbook," a customer agreement and the information about your account as well as other settlement options. Although this checkbook doesn't represent a conventional checking account at a bank, for example, it allows you to write MetLife checks to access the funds in your account.
Typically, you'll write a check to yourself and cash it or deposit it at the bank where you have an account. If you don't have a local bank account, you can use a check-cashing company that cashes personal checks, although you'll have to pay their check-cashing fee. Generally, you won't be able to make electronic bill payments, electronic fund transfers or phone payments from your MetLife TCA.
Benefits of MetLife TCA
You can withdraw some or all of the funds in your MetLife TCA account at any time, penalty-free, as long as each withdrawal is at least $250. MetLife doesn't charge for the checks, and it doesn't impose transaction fees or monthly fees.
From the date that your claim is paid, you'll earn interest on the balance in your account, which is based on current money market rates. Interest is compounded daily and credited monthly to your account on the last day of the month. Both the principal claim amount and the interest you earn are guaranteed by MetLife and reported to you on periodic statements.
MetLife eService Website
By creating an online MetLife account, you can electronically access your MetLife TCA. Set up this account by visiting eService.MetLife.com and following the prompts. Once you've registered your free account, you can view your current balance, current interest rate, account statements and your transaction history.
Contact MetLife with TCA Questions
If you have any questions about your MetLife TCA, call MetLife's Customer Services Center at 1-800-MET-SAVE (1-800-638-7283). If you're hearing impaired but you have a Telecommunications Device for the Deaf (TDD), call 1-800-229-3037.