Insurance groups, insurance companies and insurance producers are trying to tap Americans on the shoulder this month and remind them that long-term care (LTC) planning is much more of a mess than acute health care planning.
Despite the controversy over the problems with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) enrollment site and with PPACA-related health insurance policy cancellations, most Americans still have some kind of public or private health insurance.
Few have any kind of protection against LTC costs other than reliance on Medicaid — a complicated, cash-strapped program for the poor — and faith in the kindness of strangers.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) prepared for this year’s Long-Term Care Awareness Month campaign by persuading John Hancock, a unit of Manulife Financial Corp., and Mutual of Omaha Insurance Company to pay for an advertising insert in Kiplinger’s Personal Finance.
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The 3in4 Association has enlisted “Dr. Marion” — famed gerontologist Marion Somers — to give interviews about LTC planning needs and California’s LTC Partnership program in California.
State partnership programs use state Medicaid asset qualification rules to give residents incentives to buy private long-term care insurance (LTCI) — and reduce the risk they will need Medicaid nursing home benefits.
The American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI) has supported the effort by issuing a press release pointing out that the median cost for a one-year stay in a private nursing home is now $84,000.
“By 2030, this cost is likely to more than triple to nearly $310,000,” the ACLI warns in the release.
The long list of distribution organizations that have supported the campaign by posting LTC planning tips on their websites or sending out LTC press releases includes Combined Benefits United Inc.; Franklin & Associates, which is offering consumers free LTCI policy reviews; and Lavine LTC Insurance, which noted that its head, Raymond Lavine, recently appeared on a talk show hosted by William Shatner to explain why consumers need extended care benefits.
Many general-interest media organizations have run LTC planning articles in response to the campaign. Some of the Web articles that showed up at the top of a recent Google News search appeared in the Gettysburg Times in Pennsylvania, Bayou Buzz in Louisiana, the Times-Journal in Illinois, the Crestview News Bulletin in Florida, and Tennessee’s The Tennessean.