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LTC Bullet: LTC Legislation On Fast Track

Thursday July 16, 1998


An LTC bill offering long-term care insurance to federal workers and retirees is on the fast track in the U.S. House Civil Service Subcommittee. Differences over what role the government should play in setting premiums and benefits threaten to derail passage of the bill however.

GOP leaders want carriers to compete freely for access into the program, while others want the government to negotiate a predetermined package. GOP leaders worry that efforts to "gold-plate" ltc coverage could price out of the market the very persons this legislation is intended to benefit.

The bill is likely to offer coverage to all federal employees and retirees and possibly to extended family. Employees and retirees would pay full group-rate premiums based on age. Participants would select from among carriers approved for the program by the Office of Personnel Management.

After securing ltc protection for its own, maybe the government will further promote ltc coverage for the rest of us. Tax incentives were a start. Reforming Medicaid eligibility rules should come next.

Source: "Long-Term Care Legislation in the Works," Washington Post, 7/15/98