The American Council of Life Insurers applauds Linda Koco for exposing the shortcomings of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, the long term care legislation now being considered by the Senate. (See her Editorial Comment in the August 2009 LTC e-Wire, Bring in the long term care experts now.)

In addition to the flaws identified by Ms. Koco, an independent study by the American Academy of Actuaries and Society of Actuaries concluded that the program could be insolvent as early as 2022.

Indeed, we suggest other initiatives should be undertaken to address the nation’s looming long term care crisis.

For example, increase the funding for the Long Term Care Clearinghouse that promotes awareness of long-term care needs. Another recommendation: enactment of the Partnership Program in all 50 states that allows participants to keep some or all of their assets if they apply for Medicaid after they use their long term care insurance benefits.

Finally, Congress could pass legislation that would allow Americans to pay for long term care insurance with pre-tax dollars through employer-sponsored cafeteria plans and flexible spending accounts.

These steps will do more to protect Americans from rising long term care costs than yet another grandiose government-run program that promises more than it can possibly deliver.

Frank Keating
President and Chief Executive Officer
American Council of Life Insurers
Washington, D.C.
FrankKeating@acli.com