Wednesday November 24, 1999
Last September 17, we published an LTC Bullet entitled "How Are We Doing?" We asked you to comment on the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's publications, web page, and public policy initiatives. We needed your endorsements to prove to current and potential financial supporters that you--the front line troops in the battle to save long-term care--find value in our work products.
You came through for us big time! From your outpouring of kind messages, we compiled a twenty-page, single-spaced document full of high praise, strong appreciation, and good wishes. We mailed your encomiums verbatim to almost 200 LTC carriers and brokers who do, or might, support the Center. While we are all waiting to see how the industry will respond to our appeal for financial support, we thought you might like to see a small sample of the heartwarming feedback you sent us.
In the meantime, if you want LTC Bullets and the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's other activities to continue, now would be a very good time indeed to let your opinion be heard by the LTC carriers and brokers on whom the Center depends primarily for its budget. Please contact them directly and soon. We will decide no later than by the end of this year whether or not the Center for Long-Term Care Financing will be able financially to continue to operate. Thank you again for your tremendous support and encouragement. Have a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday!
Here's a taste of the feedback we received from reporters, publishers, advocates, agents, brokers, LTC providers, public officials and others:
FROM MEDIA AND ADVOCATES:
Ken Dychtwald, Ph.D., President, Age Wave, LLC, Author, Age Power, Emeryville, CA: I am convinced that the development of an effective long-term care system with appropriate financing is one of the most critical challenges facing our aging nation. In my attempt to stay abreast of this subject, I continually scan dozens of reports and newsletters. However, I have found no resource more insightful and useful than the LTC Bullets I regularly receive as well as the potent reports the Center for Long-Term Care Financing periodically prepares. Keep up the great work - your analyses and conclusions are like a lighthouse beacon.
Martin Bayne, "Mr. Long-Term Care," President, National LTC Associates, Ltd, Clifton Park, NY, in a letter published in his online newsletter: Stephen Moses, President of The Center for Long-Term Care Financing, remains the singular "voice crying out in the wilderness" on the issue of Medicaid Estate Planning. His message is not particularly fashionable or popular; the truth rarely is. Mr. Moses simply continues to remind us that *NO* private sector LTC financing initiative will succeed as long as there are those who would have us believe in the "free lunch" concept of long-term care financing. I strongly URGE you to contact Mr. Moses at email@example.com or 206-447-1340 and voice your support or visit his web site. I also actively encourage a vigorous and proactive corporate underwriting campaign to provide the direct financial support the Center will need to continue its mission in the coming years.
Winthrop Cashdollar, Director, Center for Disability & LTC Insurance, Washington, DC: The Center for Long-Term Care Financing is a great asset to those who seek to improve our society's approach to LTC financing. The Center is persistent, loud, and clear in bringing a wake-up call on LTC to those who need to hear it. Steve Moses is tireless in the cause of shattering Medicaid myths, preserving government resources for those who need them most, and encouraging imaginative alternatives to LTC financing.
George Sherman, Editor, LTC News & Comment: The Center for LTC Financing has contributed much to informing decision makers about the nature of the financing of LTC. There is no other source that has the expertise in the public financing of LTC, nor has been as effective as the Center. If the Center closes for lack of funding, the LTC insurance industry will lose the most powerful and influential voice it has to press its case with the media and policy makers about the importance of private LTC insurance.
Russ Gronewold, Treasurer, Board of Directors, Nebraska Center for Public Policy, Omaha, NE: I participate in a Public Policy "think tank" in Nebraska and utilize some of the information you send us as a resource for the topics we are considering writing or for legislation testimony. They are helpful . Thanks for all your work!
Russ Wiles, Personal Finance Columnist, The Arizona Republic, Phoenix, AZ: Thanks again for the great [Myth of Unaffordability] report - that was really the catalyst for this 2-part [newspaper] series. I realize that I've only scratched the surface. (Wiles interviewed Steve Moses at length for two articles on LTC.)
ENDORSEMENTS FROM LTC INSURANCE AGENTS, BROKERS AND OTHERS:
Abe Scher, MSW, LCSW, Scher Long-Term Care Insurance Services, Ventura, CA, representing Transamerica, UNUM, AIG, Bankers United, CNA, PFL, and Conseco Senior Health: I am a long-term care insurance specialist and I have been on your mailing list for over a year. I always look forward to "LTC Bullets" and find them helpful. I believe the work the Center is doing is not only of great value to those of us who are professionals in this field, but I am especially appreciative of the consumer advocacy role that you play. The Long-Term Care Insurance industry has a long way to go to provide for the best interest of the end user of our insurance products. By putting our clients' best interests in the forefront, we will all benefit greatly. Keep up the good work!
Alan Levine, Master Agent, President's Club, New York, NY representing GE: I read every e-mail from The Center for LTC Financing. On many occasions I print out the article and carry it in my briefcase and use it in my interview... to give me the credibility in whatever subject I'm addressing at that time. I'm fortunate to be receiving these gems of pertinent information. And just as importantly, the Center has become a major force in Congress and the governmental arena, which is urgently needed for the future of the elderly in this country...It is only very lately, that this need has been recognized and that our industry, which performs a much needed service, is being given the attention it deserves...and this is due, in great measure to the work and the persistence of the Center. Keep up the great work Steve.
Phyllis Shelton, President, LTC Consultants, Nashville, TN: I depend on LTC Bullets to stay current on LTC!!!
Walter Newman, CLU, RHU, Financial Concepts, Inc., Raleigh, NC, representing PFL, Conseco, and Penn Treaty: It is always with pleasurable anticipation that I print out each posting of LTC Bullets as it is received. As an LTC specialist, I work with attorneys, CPAs and other financial planners with regard to LTC matters. The information in LTC Bullets is helpful in bringing current ideas to these professionals. In 2000, I plan to start an LTC education campaign to bring the "Myth of Unaffordability" to civic and professional clubs. Your LTC Bullets will make my job easier because of the up-to-date information and thinking in the market place. Keep up the good work!!
Paul Knuppel, Signator Financial, Brookfield, WI, representing John Hancock, American Travelers, and AIG: I think what the Center For Long Term Care Financing is doing is great! There is a growing concern out in the public about what is going to happen to our older generation. I work in the long term care insurance field and I have enjoyed reading the LTC Bullets that are sent via e-mail. I let my clients know what is happening and have told them to check out the CLTCF's resources. I continuously look forward to hearing from the Center for more up-to-date information. Thanks again.
Don Lidke, President, Don Lidke and Associates, Inc., Denver, CO, representing Fortis and Bankers United: Steve Moses and the Center for Long-Term Care Financing are the conscience of ethical, fiscally responsible long-term care policy in the United States. While agents (including myself) reap the rewards of selling long-term care insurance, Steve Moses fights the hard battles for long-term care public policy sanity and professional and consumer awareness. If you are a serious estate or retirement planner, a long-term care insurance professional, a provider, or concerned consumer looking to stay in tune or get in tune with the heart beat of long-term care policy and planning, then you need to tune in to "LTC Bullets" from the Center for Long-Term Care Financing. No one has more knowledge, more experience or more moxie than Mr. Moses...
Arthur Rudnick, The Rudnick Agency, Riverdale, NY, representing American Progressive, CNA, Conseco, Fortis, Finger Lakes, GE, John Hancock, Penn Treaty, Travelers and UNUM (and in the process of being appointed by Prudential and MetLife): I have been receiving your LTC Bullets for the past year, and have always found them extremely informative. As an agent who specializes in LTC insurance, I always felt confident knowing that you and your organization were one off the few entities that acted as an advocate for the industry, and addressed the various concerns that our market faces on a daily basis I look forward to viewing future LTC Bullets, and appreciate the work that your organization has done in the past, and hopefully will continue to do in the future . You have become an extremely influential and important advocate for LTC insurance. As a broker in LTCI, I know that I can count on the Center for current information on both a social & political platform. Keep up the good work. It's well appreciated.
Mary Zuschlag, LTC Specialist, Krieger & Associates, Inc., Denver, CO, representing Bankers United, Fortis, GE, American Travelers and Penn Treaty: I am happy to endorse the center for long-term care! As an LTC insurance specialist, I find your updates and debates very helpful to keep myself updated on the issues surrounding LTC. Please keep up the good work! The world needs to hear this side of the issue... I do appreciate LTC Bullets Also, keep up the efforts in DC. I truly believe we have to keep up the effort to promote LTC insurance while discouraging those who are able to take personal responsibility from getting on Medicaid.
Howard Schlottman, San Diego, representing CNA, UNUM, Bankers United and Transamerica: Please keep up the work. I'm affiliated with several seasoned LTC insurance specialists (many since mid-1980s) in San Diego area. Denial and escape-routes still are obstacles to sane advance planning. Your voice helps raise awareness of power-centers and provides important reality alternatives to those who promote government solutions (AARP, Wiener, etc). Thanks . "LTC Bullets" are absolutely great. The Center for Long-Term Care Financing gives me the big picture (not just local) on trends, stats, valuable stats. I'd say the Center is critically valuable to the LTC debate because you are independent from the insurance industry per se.
John Rosenau, CFP, Money Consultants, Inc., Southport, CT, representing UNUM, GE, Fortis and Travelers: As a CFP and 15 year veteran of the financial planning profession, I have been recommending planning for long term care expenses from the start. LTC Bullets is a dependable, objective (non insurance carrier) source of the latest trends in the Long Term Care "front." It is a thinking man's source of hard hitting reviews of real life effects of LTC expenses. I have often forwarded the bullets to my existing clients as well as used them as "drip irrigation" marketing pieces to prospective planning clients. Please keep the hard hitting facts/ideas coming! Thanks for your time, and congratulations on all the "good word" you are sending out. In my opinion, it is NOT falling on deaf ears at the "retail" level.
Victoria Horner, FLMI, President & Founder, Horner Marketing Services, Wayzata, MN, representing Kanawha and Allianz: Your bullets are very valuable to those of us who make our livings marketing and selling LTCI. You're doing a great service for this relatively new, yet captivating, industry. And, you give the LTCI industry some real polish and credibility This industry is very appealing to both of us and your organization underscores the reasons why we're in this business with each "LTC Bullet" you send!
Nancy Morith, President, NP Morith, Inc., Princeton, NJ, representing Travelers, CNA, GE, John Hancock, UNUM and Fortis: I find your newsletter invaluable. I get a nice secure feeling knowing that I'm getting all the latest news surrounding this hot topic and that I am alerted to news programs that may prove of interest. I'm also extremely pleased to know that someone is out there full-time informing the press and our legislators. Please continue!
Susan Lathrum, CFP, Milwaukee, WI, representing UNUM, Fortis, CNA, and John Hancock: I have read much you have written over the years. Your article "How to Cope With Long Term Care" in the February issue of Consumer Reports was excellent and the only article I have seen so far where someone actually proposes a viable solution to the Medicaid problem instead of simply hand-wringing. I have always found your articles to be thoughtful and reasonable. You are, in my opinion, one of the real experts on long term care! I think you folks are doing a great job! It seems to me that you are setting the standard for objectivity, original thinking in problem solving, and vision regarding one of the most serious and difficult issues this country has ever had to deal with.
Tom Behrens, Vice President, American Fidelity, Oklahoma City, OK: Two thumbs up, way up! We thoroughly enjoy your bullets and the fresh perspective that you bring to addressing the impending LTC baby-boomer crisis. The influence that your Center has on the national debate currently being waged about how best to provide for the long-term health care needs of the "truly needy" appears to be increasing exponentially. You should all be proud of your contributions to date. Keep up the GREAT work!
FROM LTC PROVIDERS:
Paul Klaassen, Chairman and CEO, Sunrise Assisted Living, Fairfax, VA: Keep up the good work!!!! Your communications are right on target. I'm glad someone is speaking out so clearly on these topics. Keep me on your lists and if you're mailing out stuff (including fundraising materials) please send that along as well.
Jerry Reilly, Executive Director, Washington Health Care Association, Olympia, WA: You are doing a great job. We read your material at every opportunity. Sometimes, as you will recall we re-print it with your permission. You have also clearly had a positive impact on the discussion regarding long term care finance, and played an important role in the emergence of long term care insurance as a more important factor. Keep up the good work.
David Schless, Executive Director, American Seniors Housing Association, Washington, DC: The Center for Long-Term Care Financing has been extraordinarily helpful in raising public awareness about the need for planning and private payment for long-term care services. The American Seniors Housing Association applauds the excellent work done by Steve Moses and his colleagues at The Center! Keep up the great work!
Judie Silbermann, Activity Director, Chateau Living Center, Kenner, LA: I have nothing but good things to say. I look forward to your Bulletins and have learned a great deal from them. I am the Activity Director in a 300-bed long term care facility in the suburbs of New Orleans. I am constantly besieged by family members and other interested parties on long term care payment sources. I have found your information a useful tool in communicating accurately to those seeking advice and have referred a number of family members to your Internet site. Thanks for helping me do my job more efficiently.
FROM PUBLIC OFFICIALS AND OTHERS:
Brenda Landwehr, State Representative, District 91, Wichita, Kansas: As a state legislator from Kansas, I have found the information to be very helpful. As a member of the Appropriations committee, I have been able to use the information in discussions. This is a topic is very difficult for a lot of legislators to understand. The first response is always to ask the government to take care of the aging. Another solution is to get the government involved in the Long Term Care Insurance by supplying it. I find these solutions frustrating. Keep up the good work. I depend on the information I receive from you.
Bob Bethell, State Representative and Manager of The Sterling Presbyterian Manor (a continuing care retirement community), Alden, KS: I find "LTC Bullets" interesting and helpful. The Center for Long-Term Care Financing makes me more informed to serve my constituents. I believe this information is vital to the society. I appreciate the opportunity to receive this information. Please keep me on your list.
Sandra White, Health Insurance Specialist, Medicaid (State Programs Branch), Health Care Financing Administration, Denver, CO: Your work is indispensable.
Letty Carpenter, OLP, Division of Policy, Health Care Financing Administration, Washington, D.C.: I think yours is a voice that needs to be heard in the ongoing debate over how to pay for long-term care. I don't always agree but am glad to be challenged by a different point of view--especially one expressed with such energy and direct speech.
Matthew Mullaney, Esq., R.N., Attorney and Registered Nurse, Member of the Oregon State Bar and NAELA, Senior Law Services, McMinnville, OR: I receive and read your LTC Bulletins via e-mail regularly. I believe you are on the right track re private insurance funding long-term health care for the boomers and leaving the Medicaid program to the "truly needy."
Mary Margaret Clark, SeniorNet Learning Center, San Francisco, CA: LTC Bullets give me current accurate information on a topic I constantly encounter with caregiver families. Many people I encounter in my work and living (I live in a senior complex) are operating on the mentality that Medi-Cal will cover all things. In the SF Bay Area, some of the "Medical/Medicare will pay for all" people are now looking at placing their family member in Stockton or Fresno as the only facilities around here with Medi-Cal openings are in areas that they don't want to be in after dark. I bought LTC Insurance after encountering "you" and doing a lot of independent reading on my own. If it wasn't for your Bullets and your web site, the LTC voice would be lost . . . and it needs to be heard by everyone.
Pat Hilgendorf, Pre/Post Retirement Coordinator, UAW Local 651, Flint, MI: I have been receiving your e-mail on LTC for quite awhile. Very informative. I coordinate retirement planning classes for a major corporation. I feel that LTC info is a neglected part of retirement planning. Please send anything you have on educating people about long term care.
Christopher Nadeau, Field Representative, Psychiatry, Montefiore Medical Center, Yonkers, NY: Excellent... As a student and activist, I have found the "LTC Bullets" to be extremely enlightening, offering the latest details and complexities of this most important debate.