The wife of a man who has had multiple sclerosis for 39 years said she thinks the government should do more both for people who need long-term care (LTC) and for family caregivers.
Suzanne Mintz, the co-founder and former president of the National Family Caregivers Association, talked about health insurance and Medicare Tuesday during a meeting of the federal Commission on Long-Term Care.
The commission spent most of the meeting talking about LTC delivery and workforce issues.
Mintz touched on insurance during a presentation on the role of relatives and friends in providing LTC services.
LTC services are expensive, Mintz said.
“Private LTC insurance has not proved to be a highly successful means of covering the costs for most of the population,” Mintz added.
Mintz said one commonly proposed alternative — providing an income tax credit for family caregivers — could be complicated and expensive, and still require caregivers to fund care out of their own pockets.
Another alternative would be to add a chronic care benefit to Medicare, to cover part of the cost of the products and services used by caregiving families, Mintz said.