Health care and long term care are not the same. I mentioned that point a few months ago. assuming that it is a well known fact.
My assumption was wrong. For many people, the lines between the two are blurry or nonexistent.
For instance, a number of people and publications often refer to LTC as health care or a form of health care, and to LTC insurance as a health insurance or a form of health care insurance. Not long ago, I even heard a director of a large LTC facility refer to LTC insurance as health insurance, period.
This is not unlike the tendency of people to view dental insurance and vision care insurance as health care insurance. This helps explain the big gasp they make when their employer decides to terminate the dental plan and/or the vision care plan but leave the health care plan in place. It makes no sense to them; in their eyes, the coverages are all the same.
It doesn’t help that LTC is offered by “life and health insurance companies” or that some marketers actually introduce LTC insurance to audiences as “another part of your health insurance” or as “a gap filler for your health insurance.” Some even call it “long term health care insurance” or “health and accident insurance.” Complicating matters even more are the specific laws under which the LTC products are filed in the various states.
Perhaps it’s time for LTC professionals to take up this issue, clarifying for customers and the general public just what LTC insurance is and is not.
Clarity about this will not only help the debate in Washington about a health care reform and whether or not to include LTC in that reform. It will also help clients understand just why they should be considering this coverage.
Yes, LTC insurance helps pay for a specialized form of care. But, as LTC e-Wire readers know, this care is very different from the kind of care paid for by medical insurance. The risks are different; the underwriting is different; and the expected outcomes are different.