(U.S. Census map)

The government of Utah may soon give residents of the state a new incentive to buy private long-term care insurance (LTCI).

The state House and Senate have both approved S.B. 14, a bill sponsored by state Sen. Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, that authorizes the state Department of Health to set up a Long-Term Care Partnership program.

At press time, the bill was awaiting the signature of Gov. Gary Herbert, R.

Under federal law, states can encourage residents to buy private LTCI by letting residents who buy qualified policies and exhaust the benefits use state Medicaid nursing home benefits without meeting the usual poverty tests.

Utah is one of just a few states that have not yet set up a partnership program.

In many states, consumers with qualified partnership policies can protect assets with a value equal to the value of the LTCI policy benefits.

In some states, consumers who buy enough private LTCI coverage can protect all of their assets.

S.B. 14 calls for state officials to submit a partnership program application to federal Medicaid administrators by July 1, 2014.

See also: