BILL ON PROGRESSING ON PARTNERSHIP OF LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE AND MEDICAID

BILL ON PROGRESSING ON PARTNERSHIP OF LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE AND MEDICAID

Written by: Michael B. Cohen


Senate Bill 22 which creates a long-term care partnership program in Texas has been passed by the Texas Senate and has been sent to the Texas House. The bill provides that Texans who purchase long-term care insurance policies will be eligible for asset (dollar- for-dollar) disregard up to the value of services covered by the private policy should they ever apply for Medicaid long-term care coverage.

Long-term care is one of the leading cost drivers in the Medicaid program. Medicaid pays for 67 percent of all nursing facility days in Texas and less than 5 percent of Texans have private long-term care insurance. As the population ages, the fiscal impact of public financed long-term care may grow exponentially. This impact may lessen if more Texans are encouraged to purchase long-term care insurance. However, current law does not provide any impetus to Texans who can afford the cost to purchase that insurance due to strict asset limitations for Medicaid eligibility and required estate recovery of assets.

The bill also provides for a long-term care insurance awareness and education campaign to educate the public regarding certain long-term care issues and to encourage individuals to obtain long-term care insurance.

Guidelines for a program such as this were set forth in federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 signed by President Bush on February 8, 2006 - which law was implemented in Texas on October 1, 2006. Article Last Modified: 05/07/2007

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