A California lawmaker hopes to catch the Silver Wave. (AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill)

The California Senate Appropriations Committee plans to hold a hearing May 14 on Senate Bill 1438, a bill that could eventually lead to the creation of a statewide long-term care insurance (LTCI) program in California.

Members of the Senate Insurance Committee voted 5-3 to approve S.B. 1438 April 25.

The bill, introduced by state Sen. Elaine Alquist, D-Santa Clara, Calif., calls for the California insurance commissioner to form a task force that would study the idea of creating an LTCI program.

Alquist says in the bill text that long-term care (LTC) is expensive in California and that many state residents are worried about the cost of growing older.

A majority of state residents who participated in a survey said they would have a hard time paying for nursing home care for more than 3 months, and fewer than 20% of California residents appear to have any kind of private LTCI coverage, she says.

The Alzheimer’s Association, Chicago, is supporting the idea of the state exploring the possibility of establishing an LTCI program.