Margie Emch writes: I agree that the Partnership programs have a great idea in requiring an inflation safeguard. The problem is when you add the inflation-protection option, it can sound great, but it’s not affordable to the average 55-to-60 year-old couple.

When we sell a group plan, at least the employees are getting the benefit of some coverage (guaranteed issue) paid for by the employer and the option to buy up to better benefits and to add spouse and siblings to the plan.

We start out with the employer paying for a 3-year, $2,000 monthly cash benefit for all employees. I realize this is not Partnership qualified, but it is reasonably affordable. Average employees simply cannot afford the Partnership programs.

The following example is typical of situations we run into. Projections are for a 55-year-old couple:

  • Benefit duration: 6 years. Fixed dollar monthly indemnity benefit: $5,000. Cost per month for 2 people: $185.
  • Benefit duration: 6 years. Compound inflation monthly indemnity benefit: $3,000. Cost per month for 2 people: $442.80

My solution to the problem: convince Medicaid officials about why people are not catching on to the Partnership programs. If you eliminate the compound-inflation requirement, this Partnership concept would explode because more people will want LTC protection.