Iowa Officials Discuss Possible Changes To Long-Term Care Insurance Coverage

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Iowa Insurance Commissioner Susan Voss is considering requesting legislation that would give long-term care insurance policyholders similar rights as people with health insurance in dealing with insurers who deny claims or delay payments, the Des Moines Register reports. Voss discussed the possible changes on Thursday at a meeting of seniors and insurance industry officials. The meeting was the second of three ordered by Gov. Chet Culver (D) that are intended to discuss problems with long-term care coverage in the state.

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Current state law allows people with health insurance to ask a neutral third party for its opinion when a claim is denied, and undisputed claims must be paid within 30 days. Such standards are specifically excluded from long-term care policies, according to the Register.

Also at the meeting, seniors and officials discussed whether an ombudsman was needed to help people who are having problems with insurance. Bob Skow, CEO of the Independent Insurance Agents of Iowa,called for standardized long-term policy forms, which would allow consumers to better compare policies. Voss has scheduled another meeting for Sept. 11 and then plans to make recommendations to Culveron whether to modify long-term care coverage rules in the state.Meanwhile, the Iowa attorney general is investigating the sale of long-term care insurance policies, as consumers have complained of rising premiums, poor service, denial of claims and other issues (Dinnen, Des Moines Register, 8/10).

Reprinted with permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives. The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation. 2007 Advisory Board Company and Kaiser Family Foundation. All rights reserved.

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