Should the Federal Commission on Long-Term Care say anything to Congress about private long-term care insurance (LTCI)?
Some members of the commission were asking that question recently at a hearing on efforts to strengthen public and private support programs for people who need long-term care (LTC) services.
Some members of the commission, including Judith Feder, a Georgetown University health policy specialist, bristled at the idea of the government doing anything more — and especially anything more that would take resources away from Medicaid — for private LTCI programs.
In a question to some panelists who suggested that the government could expand private LTCI tax breaks, Feder asked pointedly about the incomes of the taxpayers that the tax incentives would help.
Judy Stein, who runs a Medicare law center in Connecticut, asked whether the government should create new LTCI purchase tax incentives.
“Or, do you think, if [the policies] were really valuable, they’d sell themselves?” Stein asked.
Bruce Chernof, president of the SCAN Foundation, a nonprofit group created by a nonprofit company that manages both acute care and long-term care for older people, also expressed skepticism about whether the commission ought to do anything about private LTCI.
“I don’t see why we as a commission have to own that burden,” Chernof said. “Are the products really there? Are we trying to save a market that doesn’t really exist?”
Earlier, during a hearing session on Medicaid, Marilyn Moon, a health policy specialist, said she has heard about the private LTCI market being in its infancy for 20 years.