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Experts: Add LTC Benefits To Medicare

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Many health care experts still want to build long term care benefits into Medicare.

Researchers at the Commonwealth Fund, New York, have reported that finding in a summary of results from a survey of about 1,000 individuals involved in health policy, health care delivery and health care finance.

About 79% of the survey participants said they support the idea of using an extra Medicare premium to pay to add an LTC benefit to Medicare.

The researchers also found that 64% of the participants support using tax incentives to encourage individuals to buy private LTC insurance.

About 63% favor transferring responsibility for Medicaid nursing home benefits to the federal government, from the states.

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In other survey findings:

- 55% of the participants said LTC costs should be shared by individuals and the government, and 26% said the costs should be shared by individuals, the government and employers.

- 74% said using payment incentives to promote quality would be effective in assuring and improving quality of care in home health, nursing homes and assisted-living arrangements.

- 61% said increasing public availability of quality and price information on nursing homes and home health care would be an effective way to improve quality.