Washington

Lawmakers have launched a new effort to help consumers pay for long term care insurance through cafeteria plans and flexible spending arrangements.

In addition to permitting workers to pay for LTC insurance through cafeteria plans and FSAs, the new Senate bill, S. 702, the Long-Term Care Affordability and Security Act of 2009, would add consumer protection standards drawn from a model law approved by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, Kansas City, Mo.

The original co-sponsors of the bill, which is similar to LTC insurance cafeteria plan bills introduced in earlier congresses, include Send. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn.; Blanche Lincoln, D-Ark., Susan Collins, R-Maine; John Ensign, R-Nev.; and Lindsey Graham, R-S.C.

The Association of Health Insurance Advisors, a division of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors, Falls Church, Va., is welcoming the introduction of the bill.

“Employees are used to receiving their benefits in the workplace, AHIA President Robelynn Abadie says in a statement.

S. 702 “will help workers in obtaining the coverage they need in a familiar setting,” Abadie says.

Rep. Adam Putnam, R-Fla., introduced H.R. 897, a House LTC insurance tax bill earlier this year. The Putnam bill would let workers buy LTC insurance through cafeteria plans and FSAs, create an above-the-line tax deduction for long-term care insurance premiums, and provide a tax credit for caregivers.