Colorado is encouraging state residents to plan for their long term care needs by inaugurating a new insurance program called “Own Your Future.” The new effort, launched in cooperation with the private sector, will be administrated by various state agencies and known as “Colorado Long-Term Care Partnership.” The program will offer privately administered LTCI coverage to Colorado residents aged 45 to 65.

According to the program’s Web site, the new effort will enable Coloradoans who purchase LTCI to “have more of their assets protected if they later need the state Medicaid program to help pay for their long-term care.” Without the insurance, residents who apply for Medicaid coverage might otherwise be forced to spend down their assets in order to qualify for Medicaid. Under the new plan, explains the Web site, the state hopes “to give its citizens greater control over how they finance their long-term care and to help shore up the public safety net against upcoming demographic pressures.”

Partnerships such as Colorado’s were made possible by a 2006 federal law designed to preserve state Medicaid programs by promoting private long term care insurance. Governor Bill Ritter kicked off the campaign at a press conference at the state capitol on July 8.