Washington State Reviews LTC Rules as Consumers are Clueless About Price

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A Prudential Financial Inc survey has found that 74% of customers – or three out of every four adults aged 55 to 65 – are concerned about the need for long-term health care (LTC). But a quarter of those have no idea about the cost or their options. The Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner is reviewing a program which will help those residents who are planning ahead for LTC needs, a move that will also ultimately help the state budget.

The program, known as the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) Long-Term Care Partnership Program, will team private LTC insurance as a primary payer of long-term care expenses with Medicaid as a conditional payer that may or may not be needed. The program helps Washington by reducing unnecessary Medicaid claims against a program that already costs the state government millions of dollars a year.

Helen Boyer, an attorney specializing in insurance law and a partner with LTC Financial Partners LLC, testified on October 11th 2011 that a few additional “tweaks” could also benefit Washington residents, including incentives to make long-term care insurance affordable through tax rebates and deductions. She also requests a rewording of the DRA to make certain provisions compliant with federal regulations and consistent with similar Partnership programs in other states.

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Boyer ‘s organization founded and sponsors a campaign known as “3 in 4 Need More” which aims to educate the public about long-term health insurance and to support Congressional moves toward affordable health care. Reforming Medicaid and stopping abuse of the program is one avenue toward its goal.

"By raising awareness in this way," says Boyer, "the program will encourage people to provide for their own LTC needs and turn to Medicaid only if they have to."

"We should all be grateful for the diligent work of the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC) on behalf of the consumers of Washington," she concludes. "Everyone will benefit, and I was delighted to help."

SOURCE LTC Financial Partners, LLC

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