The team that wrote a major new U.S. aging policy planning document has come to no conclusions about how the country should pay for long-term care (LTC) services and offers no specific financing proposals.
Nora Super, executive director of the 2015 White House Conference on Aging (WHCOA) staff, and other WHCOA staff members have included a section on long-term services and supports (LTSS) in the final conference report.
The staff gives a list of LTSS discussion questions. One of the questions is, “How can we better address the costs and increasing need for long-term services and supports?”
The WHCOA staff says it will display comments in the public conversation area on the WHCOA website.
The WHCOA staff team notes elsewhere, in a passage based on data from a 2013 government report on some commercial insurers’ decisions to withdraw from the private long-term care insurance (LTCI) market, that U.S. consumers own about 7.3 million private LTCI policies, and that private insurance covers about 3.3 percent of U.S. LTCI spending.
“Today, long-term care insurance policies are primarily purchased by middle-aged and older adults who are assessed by insurance companies as having less health risk and have higher than average incomes,” the WHCOA staff writes.
Many consumers believe, mistakenly, that Medicare pays a larger share of LTC costs than it does, and “there is currently no comprehensive long-term care financing program available to all older adults,” the WHCOA staff writes.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has tried to build awareness by setting up an LTC planning site at www.longtermcare.gov, the WHCOA staff says.
The White House has been organizing the aging policy conferences every 10 years since the 1960s. In some cases, the conferences start or extend conversations that eventually lead to the creation of new laws, regulations and government programs.
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