NU Online News Service, March 25, 3:29 p.m. – An early enrollment period begins today for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program offered by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management.
The program, offered to federal and postal employees and annuitants, members and retired members of the uniformed services and qualified relatives, is underwritten by Long Term Care Partners, a joint venture between John Hancock Financial Services Inc., Boston, and MetLife Inc., New York.
The early enrollment period, which runs until May 15, is designed for people already familiar with long term care insurance who want information about the rates and features of the federal program.
Many long-term care insurance brokers and carriers not involved with the government program have welcomed the federal program, arguing that the marketing push behind it will boost the credibility and visibility of all long-term care insurance products.
Other insurers and brokers have questioned the program’s delays at getting rate information to potential plan enrollees.
The new federal program is not using a uniform approach to pricing.
Instead, calculations of premiums take into account the enrollee’s age and the benefit period, waiting period and inflation protection option chosen.
“Benefit period” refers to the length of time benefits will last if the policyholder receives care every single day at a cost equal to or more than the daily benefit amount. During early enrollment period, enrollees can choose either a three- or five-year benefit period. During open season, from July 1 to Dec. 31, a lifetime benefit period will be offered.