Long Term Care

Long Term Care Insurance is one of the most important purchases for people in our current society. It protects your assets (like your home, your investments, cash and other valuables, retirement funds, life policies) from spend down rules if you or your spouse are in need of long term care. If you spend the average amount of time in a care facility, 2.5 years, you will want to have some assets available when you are better and able to 'go home'.  If you are single and do not have a LTC policy, you may not have a home to return to.  If you are married, you and your spouses assets may be greatly diminished and attachable by the government at the 2nd person's death.

We do not know what is going to happen with Medicaid, it is not looking like there will be money to pay for this care as the baby boomers age.  I believe we need to take personal repsonsibility for our needs to protect our loved ones.

Most long term care insurance policies contain exclusions, waiting periods, limitations, and terms for keeping them in force. Your representative can provide you with full details and cost information.

Call us for complimentary quotes on Long Term Care Insurance.

Disclosure: The following information about long term care insurance has been obtained from the Connecticut Partnership Website.

Who pays the bill?

Many people assume Medicare will pay for their long-term care expenses. In fact, Medicare covers only a small portion of the country's long-term care bill.1  Medicare will pay only when certain conditions are met for both nursing facility and home care, and even then, for nursing facility care Medicare covers on average 20 days and never more than 100 days. Medicaid covers close to half of the nation's long-term care bill,2 but will pay only after someone is impoverished (spending down their assets to $1,600 for a single person in Connecticut in 2009). 

The Cost of Care

Per the State of Connecticut Annual Nursing Facility Census (September 30, 2010): a nursing home resident now pay on average $348 per day in CT for a semi-private nursing home bed or $127,000 for the entire year. This represents a 2.1% increase from the previous year, when the average cost was $331 per day.

Connecticut Partnership

Connecticut State law requires CT nursing facilities to provide, at a minimum, a 5% discount on the on the nursing facility rate to every person that owns a CT Partnership-approved long term care insurance policy.

The other benefit to CT Partnership Plans is the Medicaid Asset Protection. Whatever amount is spent on your care while you are using the benefits of an approved long term care policy provides an equal amount of asset protection if you have to eventually apply for Medicaid (Title 19). This would allow an equal amount of assets accumulated by you to be exempt from "spend down" in order for you to apply for Title 19. In 2008, 69% of nursing home residents were covered by Medicaid. That number has increased since that time.

MEDICAID ASSET PROTECTION:RECIPROCITY WITH OTHER STATES

On March 27, 2009, Connecticut received approval from the federal government to join the National Reciprocity Compact for the granting of Medicaid Asset Protection for states with Partnership for Long-Term Care programs.  The approval is retroactive to January 1, 2009.  However, all Connecticut Partnership policyholders are covered under the Reciprocity Compact, regardless of when they purchased their Partnership policy.

 

Under the terms of the Reciprocity Compact, Connecticut Partnership policyholders who relocate to another state may be eligible to receive dollar-for-dollar Medicaid Asset Protection just as they would when they apply to Connecticut’s Medicaid program. Other rules also apply, see the Connecticut Partnership website..  Other ru

What are the Medicaid Spend Down Rules?

According to the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care, a single person is allowed to keep $1600 in assets and $57 a month of their retirement income or Social Security benefit (updated 01/04).

The spouse of a person who applies for Title 19 (Medicaid) is allowed to keep $18,552 in assets or 1/2 of the combined assets with a maximum of $92,760. They may also keep their residence and 1 vehicle and at least $1561.25 per month with a maximum allowed of $2319 in monthly income. At the time of death of the "healthy" spouse, however, the proceeds from the sale of the residence must be first used to pay back Title 19 for the care of the spouse who used the Title 19 benefits.

When is the Best Time to Buy?

According to the Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care, if you are choosing a plan that includes 5% compounded inflation protection, the best time to purchase long term care insurance is prior to your 60th birthday. This is due to the combined effects of low annual premium that remain level, and benefits that increase by 5% compounded annually (a requirement in CT Partnership plans). Check out the Connecticut Partnership website to find out about the cost of waiting to buy long term care insurance.

But do not hesitate to look into your options at later ages, I did and my policy is very reasonable.  Julie B

1 Karen Tritz et al, Long-Term Care: Trends in Public and Private Spending, Congressional Research Service, April 11, 2006.
2 IBID