The Latest   l   Articles, Speeches & Reports   l   LTC Bullets Newsletters

Media   l   LTC Graduate Seminar   l   Members-Only Zone

  Search   l   About Us   l   Contact Us   l   Home

* Subscribe to the Center *

LTC Bullet: "LTC Choice" and the Future of Long-Term Care

Tuesday December 1, 1998


Principals of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing spent a productive week in Washington, D.C. in mid-November. Steve Moses, President and David Rosenfeld, V.P. and Chief Counsel, briefed 13 key constituencies on "LTC Choice," the Center's creative new proposal for long-term care financing reform. Moses addressed a National Press Club Forum, gave two national radio interviews, and attended the First National Long-Term Care Forum, a training conference for long-term care insurance agents. Moses and Rosenfeld monitored the 10th anniversary Advanced Elder Law Institute of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA).

A common thread runs through all of these activities. The Center for Long-Term Care Financing's "LTC Choice" proposal advocates strong public policy to encourage private financing of long-term care and to discourage Medicaid dependency. The Center seeks
to get LTC Choice drafted into proposed statutory language and to have the resulting bill priced out by the Congressional Budget Office. Center staff believe that the LTC Choice program can save the government over $5 billion per year, more than enough to finance the entire cost of full tax deductibility for private long-term care insurance.

To describe how LTC Choice can reduce the LTC financing burden on tax payers, help to save Medicaid for the needy, and unleash the market for private long-term care insurance, Center staff briefed Congressional staff members representing Congressman Chris Shays, Congresswoman Nancy Johnson, and the Senate Special Committee on Aging; White House Senior Health Policy
Analyst Chris Jennings; National Medicaid Director Sally Richardson; Boomer Agenda President, and former White House Conference on Aging Director, Robert Blancato; the Ketchum Public Relations' long-term care team; Congressional Budget Office official Dr. Stuart
Hagen; the Competitive Enterprise Institute's Director of Economic Policy Studies, Tom Miller; and representatives of the Health Insurance Association of America.

The National Press Club Forum, at which Moses served as a panelist, gave rise to national media coverage of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's message including stories that will be written over time by reporters who attended the briefing and obtained copies of the "LTC Choice" proposal and other related materials. National radio interviews with Steve Moses on UPI Radio and Radio America presented an opportunity to warn the public about the dangers of ignoring the risk of long-term care until it is too late.

The Long-Term Care Forum (November 13-15), sponsored by G.J. Luque & Company, presented a superb array of training programs and creative general sessions for the benefit of long-term care insurance agents. Top-flight training of this kind is critically needed in the long-
term care insurance industry, especially by independent agents and small brokers who may not otherwise have easy access to such on-going educational support.

One feature of the Forum gave reason for concern, however. The National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (NAELA) has co-ventured with one of its founding members (Harley Gordon), to offer a for-profit professional certification and designation for long-term care insurance agents. This program was introduced at the LTC Forum with great fanfare. Because of what trans-
pired at NAELA's Advanced Elder Law Institute in D.C. later in the week (November 18-22), however, there is strong reason for concern. NAELA members continue to advocate aggressive Medicaid estate planning techniques to impoverish affluent seniors artificially for the purpose of qualifying them for publicly financed long-term care benefits.

Can the private long-term care insurance market thrive and grow when people can ignore the risk, avoid the premiums, and get the government to pay when and if they ever need long-term care? Can long-term care insurance and Medicaid estate planning co-exist? Should long-term care insurance agents look to the trade association of the Medicaid planners (NAELA)
for professional credibility when Congress has made Medicaid planning a crime?

For answers to these questions and further analysis, stay tuned to "LTC Bullets."