A Midwestern senator is bringing back three long-term care (LTC) bills.
Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., has introduced:
- S. 3226 (the Americans Giving Care to Elders Act bill): An elder care tax credit bill.
- S. 3229 (the Long Term Care Insurance Consumer Right-to-Know Act bill): A long-term care insurance (LTCI) model policy disclosure bill.
- S. 3230 (the Long Term Care Integrity Act bill): An LTCI claim dispute review bill.
Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md., is cosponsoring S. 3226, and the Senate Finance Committee has jurisdiction over that bill.
The Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions (HELP) Committee has jurisdiction over the other two bills. Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., is cosponsoring the LTCI disclosure form bill.
Klobuchar introduced a similar package of LTCI bills in 2009.
At press time, the Library of Congress had not yet received the text of the new bills.
In 2009, Klobuchar introduced a version of the tax credit bill, S. 1604, that would provided family caregivers with a tax credit of up to $1,200 per year for elder care. The tax credit would begin to phase out for families making over $120,000 per year.
The 2009 tax credit act also would have created clearinghouse for information about caregiving.
The new bill also would create a $1,200 tax credit and a caregiving information clearinghouse, Klobuchar says in a statement about the bills.
The LTCI dispute resolution bill would create “an independent, third-party review board to address the denial of appropriate and timely benefits by insurance companies,” Klobuchar says.
Klobuchar says there have been “growing complaints” about LTCI carriers” “refusal of insurance companies to pay claims.”
LeadingAge, Washington, an aging issues organization, has welcomed reintroduction of the caregiving tax credit bill.
“Caregivers are the backbone of service delivery for elders with chronic diseases,” the group says in a statement.
About 31% of U.S. households have at least one person who has served as an unpaid caregiver within the last 12 months, the group says.
The federal government does have a National Family Caregiver Program, but that program has been underfunded, LeadingAge says.