Friday June 25, 1999
*to be published in the August 1999 issue of LTC News & Comment*
According to Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses, "The solution to the long-term care financing problem is twofold: First, the government should redesign Medicaid to be a loan instead of a grant-for anyone with assets-and simultaneously educate the public about the real risk of long-term care. Second, the long-term care insurance industry should market much more heavily the crucial benefit of access to quality care at the appropriate level in the private marketplace. When most Americans do purchase private long-term care insurance, the public financing programs will be better able to provide for those who are unable to pay privately for their care."
Exploration of this twofold solution was the focus of discussion at the Center for Long-Term Care Financing's 1st annual "LTC Intensive" in Seattle on June 17-18, 1999. More than 30 executives representing 23 long-term care insurance carriers and brokers attended the invitation-only program entitled "Public Policy & Profitability: Make the Connection" held at the Center's offices.
Dwayne Clark, President and CEO of Aegis Assisted Living, delivered opening remarks on the need for greater understanding and better communication between the assisted living and long-term care insurance industries. Then, Center President Stephen Moses presented his analysis and recommendations and previewed the Center's newest public policy report, "The Myth of Unaffordability: How Most Americans Should, Could, and Would Buy Private Long-Term Care Insurance." The program concluded with several rounds of structured discussion on strategy and tactics for public policy.
In "The Myth of Unaffordability" report, Moses argues that by paying for long-term care through Medicare and Medicaid, the government has anesthetized the public to the substantial financing risk of needing expensive long-term care. Consequently, most people fail to place a sufficiently high priority on the need to plan, save, and insure against this risk. "This false sense of security is the primary cause of the myth of unaffordability," says Moses. "Because most people do not perceive a need to insure privately for long-term care, they think coverage is too expensive for the benefit it provides, i.e. unaffordable." The solution? "Target scarce public resources to the genuinely needy. Confronted by the stark reality of a genuine long-term care financing risk, the vast majority of Americans will finally place a realistic priority on the need to plan ahead for long-term care." Financial supporters of the Center received pre-release copies of "The Myth of Unaffordability" which will be released to the public on September 1, 1999. Contact us at 206-447-1340 or email@example.com to pre-order the report ($34.95).
"The conference was a major success," according to Center for Long-Term Care Financing VP David Rosenfeld. While Center principals routinely address audiences at national conferences covering an array of topics, the Center's LTC Intensive was unique in bringing together industry leaders to focus solely on public policy issues. "The feedback has been wonderful," said Rosenfeld. "We're receiving all sorts of suggestions for expanding the Center's efforts. We definitely struck a chord with organizations seeking public policy advocacy from outside the industry." One attendee was so enthused that he presented the Center with a financial contribution on the spot.
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