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LTC Bullet: Medicaid Minefields Indeed!

Thursday July 23, 1998


When National Underwriter, the health and life insurance trade journal, published an article on how to use annuities for Medicaid planning, many advocates of private long-term care insurance saw red. It's tough for agents to sell long-term care protection when the government is giving it away! And they sure don't need their industry publications promoting the socialized competition.

So David Rosenfeld, Vice President and Chief Counsel of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, popped off a quick rebuttal to the National Underwriter. To the magazine's
credit, they published his letter under the headline "Medicaid Minefields Indeed!" The text of the letter follows.

To the Editor:

Tyrone Clark's article "Minefields With Annuities And Medicaid" (June 1, 1998 issue) was aptly named for all the wrong reasons. While Mr. Clark was concerned with the intricacies of using
annuities to obtain Medicaid's long-term care benefits, no mention was made of the minefields that await the unsuspecting senior.

Medicaid is a means-tested public assistance program. It is welfare. It is on the brink of bankruptcy and already fails to cover two-thirds of the elderly poor and half of all poor children.
It suffers from a notorious reputation for problems with access, quality, reimbursement, discrimination and institutional bias.

On the other hand, private financing with long-term care insurance assures seniors of top quality care in first-class settings across the entire continuum of institutional and home and
community-based care. Medicaid assures access only to welfare-financed nursing homes.

Rather than counseling readers on Medicaid eligibility, Mr. Clark should consider applying his demonstrated expertise to promote positive alternatives to Medicaid dependency such as private financing with long-term care insurance.

Very truly yours,

David M. Rosenfeld, JD, MSW
Chief Counsel
Center for Long-Term Care Financing
Seattle, Wash.