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House schedules long-term care insurance program hearing

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A congressional panel is about to take a hard look at the federal government’s own long-term care insurance benefits program. 

Leaders of the House Oversight & Government Reform government operations subcommittee have scheduled a hearing on the Federal LTCI Program at 2 p.m. Nov. 30.

Related: Federal workers seek long-term care insurance rate hearing

At press time, hearing organizers had not yet included a list of witnesses, or any other information about the hearing, with the hearing notice.

The U.S. Office of Personnel Management started the voluntary long-term care insurance benefits program, which is open to federal workers and workers’ relatives, in 2001. 

Originally, a unit of New York-based MetLife Inc. and John Hancock, a unit of Toronto-based Manulife Financial Corp., teamed to provide the insurance inside the Federal LTCI Program.

John Hancock took over sole responsibility for supplying the insurance when the program went through its first renewal cycle, in 2009. At that time, John Hancock increased the premiums for policyholders with compound inflation protection by 5 percent to 25 percent. Some program enrollees complained, but, in spite of the premium increases, enrollment climbed 20 percent.

The program went through a second renewal cycle this year. John Hancock, the sole bidder, increased enrollees’ premiums an average of 83 percent.

The long-term care insurance premium increase took effect Nov. 1.

In August, when news about the increase was fresh, the Alexandria, Virginia-based National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association called for Congress to hold hearings on the increase in September, before the Nov. 8 general elections. 


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