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LTCI Watch: Dream team

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I recently engaged in long-term care insurance (LTCI) cliff jumping by suggesting possible candidates for the new Commission on Long-Term Care that the new American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012 (ATRA) is supposed to create.

Congress included the commission provision in ATRA to make everyone feel less bad about the death of the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act program, the well-intentioned but actuarially suspect voluntary long-term care (LTC) benefits program that the Patient Protection and Affordable Care (PPACA) was supposed to create.

ATRA officially killed the CLASS Act program.

The 15-member LTC Commission is supposed to try to come up with LTC reform proposals for Congress. The commission is supposed to include three members appointed by the president and three each to be appointed by the Democratic and Republican leaders of the House and the Senate.

Despite the enormous gaps in my knowledge and experience, I came up with what I thought were some pretty OK suggestions, such as Marion Somers, the geriatric care manager who has been riding around the United States on a bus to promote the need for LTCI and general LTC planning.

One commenter didn’t think of Somers and Janet Trautwein, the chief executive officer of the National Association of Health Underwriters, to be adequate for representing the insurance industry. (My guess is that Somers and Trautwein together are pretty much a team to be reckoned with, but, hey, I’m just a reporter.)

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Claude Thau — an LTCI actuary and consultant in Overland Park, Kan., who probably would make a superb LTC Commission member — scared me a little, honestly, by taking my blog seriously and sending me a resume.

Thau, for example, has been the senior officer for LTCI at Transamerica Occidental Life Insurance Company, which sounds well-qualified to me.

And, sadly: I just plain forgot to include an LTCI regulator.

Esteemed readers: Do you want to be on the commission? Or, is there anyone else you think should be on the commission? If so, could you either post the details in the comment section below, or, if that seems awkward, just e-mail the details to me at [email protected], and I’ll post the details.

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