The original Long Term Care Insurance Partnership program was developed in 4 States in 1992: California, Indiana, Connecticut, and New York.
With the number of elderly Americans growing at a rapid pace, long term care services comprise the largest portion of Medicaid expenditures in most States. Lawmakers recognized the need to reduce the burden of State Medicaid long term care expenditures.
The intent of the Long Term Care Partnership Program is to help States manage long term care costs, while at the same time offering consumers more affordable long term care coverage.
Through the purchase of Partnership Long Term Care Policies consumers are protected from having to "spend-down" their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid.
With the passage of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, Congress allowed for the expansion of Long Term Care Partnership Programs to other States. Today, 45 States have Long Term Care Insurance Partnership programs.
The thinking behind the creation of long term care insurance programs is that these programs will:
The primary benefit of owning a Partnership long term care policy is the Medicaid asset protection available to you once your long term care insurance benefits have been exhausted.
Without the purchase of a Partnership long term care insurance policy, your State would require you to spend-down your assets to $2,000 typically before you will qualify for Medicaid long term care benefits. Your State would also examine any transfer of assets within 5 years of your application for Medicaid applying a penalty period if asset transfers are found. As you know, qualifying for Medicaid is difficult.
With the purchase of a Partnership policy, however, Medicaid will not require you to spend-down your assets to the $2,000 level.
Medcaid will disregard any of your assets equal to the benefits you received from your LTC policy.
Here is an example:
Suppose you purchase $240,000 of Partnership-qualified long term care insurance-possibly a policy with a $5,000 monthly benefit and a 4 year benefit period. ($5,000 x 12 month x 4 years = $240,000).
Let's say you need long term care, and your Partnership long term care policy pays you $240,000 in benefits. If this happens, Medicaid will "disregard" $240,000 of your assets in determining whether you qualify for Medicaid. You will not be required to spend-down to $2,000. Thus, in this example you can keep $240,000 in savings or investments and will only have to spend-down to $242,000 ($240,000 of policy benefits + $2,000 Medicaid rules).
Thus, your Partnership long term care insurance policy helps you in 2 ways, really:
Long term care insurance policies must include certain features to be eligible for Partnership protection.
-----Policies issued to applicants below the age of 61 must include Compound Inflation Protection.
-----Policies issued to applicants between the ages of 61-75 must include some form of inflation protection.
-----Policies issued to applicants age 76 and older do not require inflation protection.
What If My Long Term Care Policy Does Not Qualify For My State Partnership Program?
We receive this question a lot. Is it worth exchanging your policy for new coverage that is eligible for your State Long Term Care Partnership benefits?
It will usually depend upon your time of purchase and the benefits within your long term care insurance policy.
Also, please keep in mind hybrid long term care life insurance policies do not qualify for Partnership asset disregard benefits.
LTC Partner can help you explore your Long Term Care Partnership Program options. To learn more or to receive quotes of LTC Partnership Plan policies please contact us toll-free at 800-891-5824; or complete our easy long term care insurance quotes request form.