Many middle-income Americans are torn into pieces when the need for long term care occurs. Everybody knows that long term care falls heavily during ages 50 to 60, and the prices for these facilities can ruin ones finances. Another caveat is the scant support from government to help middle and low income earners from continuing their care either in a nursing home or in a community. Although Medicaid was established to solve the problem on LTC, many middle-income people are disheartened from applying for Medicaid because of the latters onerous qualification standards.

Medicaid favours low-income people, while middle-income people endure the daunting long term care costs or, otherwise, dissipate their assets in exchange for Medicaid coverage. The inception of Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 created a plausible program called the Long Term Care Insurance Partnership. The primary goal of the program is to create collaboration between the state government and private insurance companies to encourage the sale of long term care insurance, while at the same time reduce the weight on Medicaid in paying the countrys most expensive health care.

Qualified partnership policies must meet special state requirements. Although policies may vary from state to state, most partnership policies should have comprehensive benefits that range from institutional to home care services, must be tax-qualified, provide consumer protection, and incorporate inflation protection. The only discrepancy of partnership policies in some states is the amount of inflation protection. All partnership policies must be approved by State, and the state should educate and encourage the public to consider this financing option.

Partnership policy addresses the disturbing issue with Medicaid. This holds a special feature called asset disregard that allows applicants, regardless of income and assets, to keep dollar amount more than Medicaids asset limit, to receive benefits for long term care services. The amount of assets than can be kept is commensurate to the amount you may receive for the benefits. Without a partnership policy, you are obliged to spend down your assets until it reach the required asset cut-off.

Since most of these policies shall include inflation protection, the amount of benefits you receive can go higher than the actual amount you purchased. This also allows people to qualify for coverage after they have exhausted their private long term care insurance. On June 1, 2009, there were 29 states that implemented the partnership program, among them are California, Colorado, New York, Texas, Oregon, Maryland, Kentucky, Virginia, Florida, Rhode Island, and etc.

Important Things to Consider

1. Be careful in choosing partnership policies. Make sure the partnership policy is state-approved, and it must include some degree of inflation protection.
2. All policies bought before the Partnership programs effective date will not be considered as state-qualified; however, there are some states that allow the swapping of non-qualified policies to state-qualified ones.
3. The eligibility for Medicaid is not automatic. Since the policies differ in every state, you must inquire in your state department for Medicaid eligibility rules as well partnership policy rules.
4. States that participate in the partnership program have reciprocity feature that allows policyholders to use their partnership policy from a certain state to another.

Long term care costs are overwhelming these days, but there are ample of ways to get affordable LTC coverage. The long term care insurance partnership helps you avail LTC services considerably without putting your finances off guard.

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The demand for long-term care continues to grow in Indiana, and therefore the cost of those benefits increase as well. In effect, residents are becoming very much concerned with these booming health care costs.

A survey conducted by AARP in 2007 revealed that members aged 50-64 and non-members age 30-49 reside in South Central Indiana and 82% of these respondents believe that the state of Indiana should give priority to affordable long term care choices for its residents.

According to a study on the median costs of long-term care in the State of Indiana conducted by Genworth Financial, a leading insurance company; though there are a number of choices and services available in the state, the costs vary as well which are very dependent on where the person lives.

In Indiana, most residents opt turning to Medicaid to help pay for the costs of long term care. Individuals who are found eligible are aided by the Indiana Medicaid, a medical assistance program funded by the federal and state government. But, when it comes to determining eligibility, in case of a person who is single, his or her assets must not exceed $ 1,500. For married couples, assets must not exceed $ 2,250 to qualify for the program.

For Indiana to push further with its objective of helping and reaching out more to its residents particularly with long term care costs, the Indiana Long Term Care Insurance Program or ILTCP was developed. ILTCP is a collaborative program between the State of Indiana through the Medicaid program and private insurance. It is designed to help Hoosiers prepare for their future while protecting their life savings from exhaustion due to high-cost treatment.

During the 1980s, the State of Indiana was included among the four pilot states where Long Term Care Insurance was first developed. Since then, there have been changes and modifications to help people more who could use Medicaid for their long-term needs after they have exhausted their insurance benefits.

In fact, the most recent development with the states LTCi is the expansion of asset protection in 1998 and tax deduction for premiums of ILTCP policies in 1999. The expansion of asset protection was created to include both dollar-for-dollar and total asset protection, while the tax deduction for premiums was implemented in 2000. And, for a stronger mandate on the ILTCP, the program was assigned to the Indiana Department of Insurance in 2006.

Long term care policies offered in Indiana must include state tax deduction, inflation protection, state reciprocity, Medicaid asset protection, dollar-for-dollar asset protection, and total asset protection. These LTC policies come in two types, namely comprehensive and Facility-Only policy. Comprehensive policy provides coverage for nursing home and community care while facility-only policy provides coverage for care in nursing facilities only.

There are more things to know about the Indiana long term care partnership and its various long term care insurance policy options. Get the latest developments and better understand what insurance for long term care is all about.

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According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services about 9 million Americans, now 65 or older, will require long term care. HHS expects that number to rise by 25 percent to 12 million by 2020. With health care costs rising and longer life expectancies, funding long-term care needs is an increasing concern for millions of people, especially senior citizens.

Guide to Long Term Care Insurance

The average annual cost of nursing home care is $ 74,806, according to Genworth Financial’s 2007 Cost of Care Survey, but that figure can fluctuate depending on the level of care required, and the state in which the care is provided.

However, it is important to remember that when planning for long –term care, the focus should not be on the cost of care currently, but what care will cost when it is most likely needed. That may be 10 years, 20 years, 30 years, or longer.

Now let’s consider five essentials regarding long term care insurance.

1. There are different types of provisions in long term care insurance

The type of long term care that is provided depends on the patient’s medical necessity, psychosocial needs, and financial situation. Types of long term care include: skilled nursing, intermediate, custodial home-based and hospice care.

2. Policyholders must meet certain conditions to receive benefits.

Long term care benefits begin when policyholders meet certain conditions. A licensed professional performs an assessment to determine if there is a medical necessity for long term care. Medical necessity is generally defined as an inability to perform daily activities, such as bathing, dressing, or eating, due to severe physical limitations or cognitive impairments.

3. The type of policy and the needs of the individual determine the cost of long term care insurance.

Annual premiums can vary significantly depending on your age, health, and the type of policy, but policies can run as high as $ 5,000 or more per year, However, you do not have to pay that much. Your premium could be reduced by choosing a shorter benefit period, buying at a younger age, sharing care, choosing a longer elimination period, reducing the daily benefits, and including inflation protection.

Guide to Long Term Care Insurance

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