“In This Next Phase Of Health Reform, We Cannot Overlook Long Term Care,” by Everette James, Walid Gellad, and Meredith Hughes, Health Affairs Blog

“Existing evidence on feasible options for financing LTC are sparse. Many states have implemented “Long-Term Care Partnerships,” which enable individuals to qualify for Medicaid coverage as soon as they have exhausted their private LTC insurance policy. Other current options include combined life insurance and LTC insurance policies, which reduce life insurance payouts depending on LTC utilization, or life settlements, which allow individuals to sell their life insurance policy once they reach a certain age. State and national policies to support family caregivers are limited in scope and often underutilized.”

LTC Comment (from Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform):
It’s refreshing to see anything about long-term care reform lately, but these writers’ recommendations miss the point. The point about long-term care is that Medicaid pays for most of it, which causes the public to be complacent about planning for it and results in too many people unprepared to pay privately which further expands dependency on Medicaid. It’s a vicious downward spiral. Solution: fix Medicaid by closing eligibility loopholes such as the huge home equity exemption, abusive annuities, and spousal refusal; enforce Medicaid estate recovery to generate billions in non-tax revenue; and use part of the savings to incentivize private financing through home equity conversion and long-term care insurance. The last thing we need is another compulsory payroll-financed entitlement program to bankrupt the country even further and exacerbate the real problem—government financing of long-term care anesthetized consumers to its risk and cost.

In This Next Phase Of Health Reform, We Cannot Overlook Long Term Care