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LTC Bullet: Update on the Federal Government's LTC Insurance Plan

Wednesday January 27, 1999


According to Mike Causey, writing in a "Washington Post" column entitled "Long-Term Coverage in the Short Term" published January 25, 1999 (
"Federal workers and retirees who have delayed buying private long-term-care insurance in hopes the government will offer them a better deal may want to stop playing the waiting game. It might be wise to buy a long-term-care insurance policy as a gap-filler until the government program is a reality." Causey says the Feds' plan "is still at the talking stage. There are still months of hearings, then House and Senate votes, then conferences before any bill is sent to the White House. Nobody knows what the package will contain, what the premium will be or whether it will be effective next year or later." In the meantime, anyone can get clobbered by long-term care anytime: "Long-term care isn't just for middle-aged and older people. Anybody, at any age, can suddenly find themselves in need of skilled care, at home or in a nursing home. Few people have the money to cover it -- especially if they are out of work." Besides, the federal plan has some aspects that may not warrant waiting for: "…age, presumably, will be the only factor that determines the group premiums. What that means, some insurance experts say, is that the overall premiums may be relatively high for everybody. If that is the case, younger (and healthier) individuals may well be able to buy a good long-term-care insurance policy from a private firm at individual rates that will be cheaper than the coverage available to them under the proposed federal program." Wise counsel from the Post's federal beat columnist! If anyone out there knows Mr. Causey's e-mail address, we'd sure like to invite him to receive "LTC Bullets."