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Coalition Proposes Catastrophic Long-Term Care Program

Armen Hareyan's picture

A coalition of long-termcare groups last week unveiled a proposal to create a catastrophic long-termcare program for U.S. residents ages 65 and older that would encourageindividuals to save for their health care needs and reduce the financial burdenon state and federal budgets to provide such benefits, CQ HealthBeat reports. The proposal was introduced by the Alliance for Quality Nursing Home Care, the National Centerfor Assisted Livingand the American Health Care Association.

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The plan, which would be phased in over 10 years, would be intended forMedicare-eligible individuals who have purchased at least $100,000 in long-termhealth care coverage in 2007 dollars, either through insurance policies orhealth savings accounts. According to CQ HealthBeat, that amountcould be adjusted based on a sliding scale, and low-income individuals would beexempt from the requirement.

Under the proposal, individuals eligible for the catastrophic federalassistance would receive money to pay for community-based health care programs,or skilled nursing facility or assisted living facility services. Individualsalso could enroll in a Medicare Advantage plan that provides long-term carecoverage. States' share of Medicaid funding for long-term care would shift tothe federal government, according to the proposal. In addition, the proposalcalls for a post-acute care patient assessment tool developed by HHS thatwould do a better job of matching medical services to a patient's individualneeds, with equal rates of federal reimbursement, CQ HealthBeatreports (Carey, CQ HealthBeat, 1/18).

Reprintedwith permission from kaisernetwork.org. You can view the entire Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report, search the archives, and sign upfor email delivery at kaisernetwork.org/email . The Kaiser Daily Health PolicyReport is published for kaisernetwork.org, a free service of The Henry J.Kaiser Family Foundation.