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Bill To Allow Tax-Exempt Long-Term Care Insurance Premium Payments

Armen Hareyan's picture

A bipartisan group of senators on Tuesday introduced a bill that wouldallow employees to pay long-term care insurance premiums with pre-taxdollars, CQ HealthBeatreports. Under the Long-Term Care Affordability and Security Act --sponsored by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Blanche Lincoln (D-Ark.),Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.) and Gordon Smith(R-Ore.) -- employers could offer long-term care insurance underso-called cafeteria plans, which allow employees to select from anumber of tax-exempt benefits, as well as flexible spending accounts.

The bill, which moves to the Senate Finance Committeefor consideration, also would improve consumer protections forlong-term insurance. Snowe in a statement said, "Just 10% of seniorshave taken out a long-term care insurance policy, and only 7% of allprivate industry employees are offered long-term care insurance as avoluntary benefit." Rep. Earl Pomeroy (D-N.D.) in August introduced a companion bill (HR 3363) in the House (Straus, CQ HealthBeat, 11/14).

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