LTC Bullet: What Have You Done for Me Lately?

Thursday, December 18, 2003


LTC Comment: Please read this Bullet and send us lather (compliments) or a shave (criticism) as you see fit. We'll use your positive feedback to help seek financial support for the Center from corporate and other donors. We'll use any negative feedback to correct our course and adapt to readers' preferences. Thanks for your time, attention and support. Now the ***news.***

*** MANDATORY LTCI? CALL IT "FLOOD INSURANCE FOR THE AGE WAVE." The following blurb appears in the December 2003 issue of Kiplinger's Retirement Report: "More homeowners in the zone. Flood zone, that is. The Federal Emergency Management Agency is updating its flood maps. The new maps will cover many areas that were previously undeveloped. Homeowners now living there will be required by lenders to buy flood insurance. Homeowners in Florida, North Carolina and New York are likely to be affected first." Over a decade ago, Center President Steve Moses published an article titled "Of Floods, Insurance and Long-Term Care," which made the case that people fail to buy LTCI for the same reason they don't buy flood insurance, i.e. government routinely indemnifies victims of floods and long-term care. If home mortgage lenders are requiring flood insurance to protect their investment, shouldn't government do the same for long-term care? Do we need to mandate LTCI also? After all, every baby boomer lives in the "flood zone" of the Age Wave. To read Steve's article on the parallels between flood and long-term care insurance, go to . ***

*** WHATEVER HAPPENED TO NGA'S LTC PUSH? Here's the latest: "LTC Daily Analysis Briefs. PBS Program Addresses Aging Boom WASHINGTON, DC -- 12/17/2003 -- (Eli Digital) Public television stations across the nation are airing a broadcast of a roundtable discussion involving key policymakers on the topic of the aging U.S. population. Titled 'Living Better: A National Conversation on Aging,' the show is the brainchild of Idaho Gov. Dirk Kempthorne, who has made long-term care the focus of his new chairmanship of the National Governors Association. The program features the governors of Georgia, Hawaii and Tennessee, along with former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich and former White House Budget Director and Congressional Budget Office Director Alice Rivlin. Morton Kondracke moderates. 'Nearly every American will encounter the need for long-term care,' says Kempthorne. 'We can change the health care culture in this country to help our seniors age healthier and to help our states provide more dignified care. But we must begin to act now.' The show has already aired in some markets and in others is scheduled to air in the upcoming weeks. A schedule of airings, along with a transcript of the broadcast and video files, is available on the NGA Web site here."

Source: LTC Daily Analysis Briefs, December 17, 2003, prepared by for ,

*** We have an easy way to subscribe to LTC Bullets. Encourage your colleagues to fill out the simple online subscription form at . Subscriptions are free to everyone for the first three months. ***

*** Would you like to have a "Long-Term Care Graduate Seminar" in your town? Contact Executive Director Amy McDougall at 425-377-9500 or to learn more. If you can provide a conference room and a few other essentials, we'll do the rest. For details on the program, please go to . We're especially interested in taking the Grad Seminar to Boston, Atlanta, and Miami. ***

*** LATEST DONOR-ONLY ZONE CONTENT: Here's the latest Zone content followed by instructions on how to subscribe so you can receive these critical epistles daily by email.

The LTC Data Update #3-033--Retirees $45 Billion Short (Study shows, without LTCI, retirees in 2030 will be $45 billion short even counting their "social insurance" benefits from the government and their home equity!)

Don't miss our "virtual visits" to major LTC industry conferences in The Zone. You'll find our comparison of the conferences, session summaries, interviews and pictures at .

Individual donors of $150 or more and corporate donors to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing receive our daily email LTC Bullets, LTC E-Alerts, LTC Readers, and LTC Data Updates for a full year. You'll also get access to the donor-only zone where these publications are archived along with other donor-only features. If you already qualify for The Zone, you can click the following link, enter your user name and password, and go directly to the latest donor zone content and archives: . If you do not already qualify for The Zone, mail your tax-deductible contribution of $150 or more to the Center for Long-Term Care Financing, 2212 Queen Anne Avenue North, #110, Seattle, WA 98109. Then email your preferred user name and password (up to 10 characters each). You can also contribute online by credit card or direct withdrawal at . ***


Around this time every year, we give LTC Bullets readers a report on what the Center for Long-Term Care Financing has done for you during the past year. We solicit your comments, criticism and questions. We also invite your endorsements and testimonials if you think we've earned them. We do this in preparation for the Center's 2004 fundraising year.

The Center for Long-Term Care Financing's mission is to ensure access to quality long-term care for all Americans. We pursue this mission by promoting public policy that targets scarce public resources to the needy and encourages everyone else to plan early and save, invest or insure for long-term care.

Our strategy is to enlist the private sector's profit motive to relieve the fiscal burden on the public sector's service objectives. That's why we encourage long-term care insurance, home equity conversion and private investment as means to reduce avoidable dependency on Medicaid's nursing home benefit.

Working together, we can prepare most Americans to pay privately for long-term care. This outcome will benefit rich AND poor seniors, LTC providers, insurers, and tax payers. When most people can pay privately for long-term care, Medicaid will be able to provide better access to higher quality care across a wider range of services for a smaller clientele. Everybody wins.

So, what exactly has the Center for Long-Term Care Financing been doing to pursue our common mission since this time last year?

* WE PUBLISHED 68 "LTC BULLETS." The purpose of the Bullets is to educate, motivate, and persuade. We send them to a wide range of LTC experts including insurers, providers, media, legislators, all state governors, policy makers, lawyers, financial planners, senior advocates, think tanks, and academics. Over 4800 people have subscribed to LTC Bullets, up from around 1800 when the Center began in April 1998. Today's Bullet is number 476 in the series. The Bullets are free to most subscribers, but we ask LTCI agents, brokers, and carriers to contribute financially to help support this and the Center's other services.

* WE PUBLISHED 66 LTC E-ALERTS, 51 LTC READERS, AND 33 LTC DATA UPDATES THIS YEAR. We call these publications the "DONOR-ONLY ZONE." Contributors of $150 or more annually (tax deductible) qualify to receive our "one-a-day" mental vitamins. The LTC E-Alerts, Readers and Data Updates are special, brief daily e-pistles designed to help LTCI producers translate the latest news, research and analysis into marketing ideas to help them help consumers obtain LTCI protection. Donor-Zoners also have access to our special features on the Center's password-protected area for donors only, including our Virtual Visits to major industry conferences. Find out how to qualify and sign up at .

* BYLINED PUBLICATIONS. One of the Center's most important services is to publish articles that advocate rational long-term care public policy. In the past year, Center President Stephen Moses bylined ten articles on critical long-term care topics. Some examples include "On the Lack of True Marketing of Long-Term Care Insurance," Health Insurance Underwriter, Vol. 51, No. 11, December 2003, pps. 65-67; "Avoid the Long-Term Care Trap," Assisted Living Today, Vol. 10, No. 6, July/August 2003, pps. 14-16; "Long-Term Care Lemmings," Broker World, Vol. 23, No. 5, May 2003, ; "The Elephant, The Blind Men, and LTC," National Underwriter LTC E-Wire, Vol. 2, No. 3, February 2003, You can find a wide selection of Steve's articles at .

* TECHNICAL ASSISTANCE. Another important, but little known, service of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing is to provide technical assistance to state Medicaid programs, public policy makers, legislators, and others. Some recent examples follow. In December 2003, we published "The Heartland Model for Long-Term Care Reform: A Case Study in Nebraska," the report of a study commissioned by the Nebraska Legislature, designed to save the state 20 percent of its Medicaid nursing home budget. Read it at .

In November, Steve Moses briefed New Mexico Congresswoman Heather Wilson, who heads a Congressional task force on long-term care financing. On an ongoing basis, the Center is providing "expert witness" testimony in nursing home liability trials to explain to juries how low Medicaid financing undercuts care quality.

* WE PRESENTED THE LTC GRADUATE SEMINAR PROGRAM EIGHT TIMES IN 2003. The LTC Graduate Seminars are designed to give experienced and successful LTC professionals advanced training on the history, status quo, and options for change of long-term care service delivery and financing in the United States. The more you know about how long-term care in the U.S. came to be in the mess it's in today, the better able you will be to help families cope and to advocate for the necessary changes in public policy. The Center schedules LTC Graduate Seminars upon request for sponsors who provide a training room, other essentials, and a dozen or more attendees at $225 each.

* PUBLICITY. Another important role the Center plays is to get the word out through the media about the importance of planning for long-term care. We're quoted in hundreds of publications every year, most of which we never learn about unless readers fax or email us copies. Some examples this year include the Wall Street Journal, USA Today, The New York Sun, The Seattle Times, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Older Americans Report, Broker World, and Health Insurance Underwriter.

* INTERVIEWS. One of the reasons the Center for Long-Term Care Financing is so successful in getting the word out through media about the importance of LTC planning is that our readers and supporters frequently refer reporters to us. Keep it up! We've provided extended interviews most recently to reporters from Gannett News Services, CBS Market Watch's Retirement Weekly, Smart Money, Financial Planning magazine, the Dallas Morning News, and Governing Magazine.

* SPEECHES. In the past year, Center for Long-Term Care Financing staff delivered 19 formal speeches to a wide range of organizations and audiences. Some examples include: the Pittsburgh Airport Area Chamber Enterprise Foundation's conference on "Economic Impact with Long Term Care: Corporate Elder Care Planning" in Pittsburgh on January 31, 2003; legislative testimony before the Washington State Senate Health and Long-Term Care Committee in Olympia, Washington on February 18, 2003; a legislative luncheon on February 20, 2003 in the Capitol in Denver; a conference titled "The Medicaid Monologues" in Albany, New York on March 26, 2003; the Florida Long-Term Care Policy Advisory Council on April 22, 2003 in Tallahassee, FL; the Portland Estate Planning Council in Portland, Oregon on September 17, 2003; Kansas state legislators on November 22, 2003 in Emporia, Kansas; and Wharton Business School MBA students and their teacher on December 8, 2003 (tele-conference).

* BRIEFINGS. Besides delivering formal presentations across the United States, Center staff actively seek opportunities to provide informal briefings on long-term care policy to influential individuals and organizations. Some examples from the past year include: New York Senator Raymond A. Meier regarding Medicaid LTC issues on March 26, 2003 (Senator Meier later introduced legislation to close Medicaid eligibility loopholes); several state legislators in Tallahassee, Florida on April 22, 2003; the Long-Term Care Financing Strategy Group by tele-conference on July 29, 2003; attorneys representing Beverly Enterprises on systemic problems that cause poor nursing home outcomes, in Mobile, AL on July 31, 2003; Washington Department of Social and Health Services Secretary Dennis Braddock on September 3, 2003 in Olympia, Washington; and Congresswoman Heather Wilson, who chairs the Medicaid LTC task force in Congress, and her aide in Albuquerque on November 3, 2003.

* CONSULTING AND SPEAKING. To help support the Center for Long-Term Care Financing financially, Center staff are available for consulting, writing and speaking. We currently bill Center President Steve Moses's professional time at $225 per hour. Speaking engagements have a flat fee of $5,000 including travel expenses. All proceeds accrue to the Center and support our programs. We welcome sponsors, with published recognition, for public service programs that we cannot afford to do without financial support. Contact or to commission an article, engage a speaker, sponsor a Bullet, enter The Zone, or retain a consultant.

* CORRESPONDENCE. The Center responds to numerous articles on long-term care in the national media. We write to authors and editors, thanking them for covering this important subject, correcting errors, suggesting new perspectives on the topic, and inviting them to receive LTC Bullets, visit the Center's web site, and contact us when they write on long-term care in the future. In this way, we have built a network of reporters and editors (such as syndicated columnists Jane Bryant Quinn of Newsweek, Terry Savage of the Chicago Sun Times, and many others) who check with us often before writing about long-term care. Our "reality check" series of LTC Bullets, often authored by Eileen Tell of The Long-Term Care Group, targets particularly bad articles on long-term care in an effort to correct, educate, and improve media coverage of the topic.

*** Everything the Center for Long-Term Care Financing does is aimed at encouraging responsible planning for long-term care. Let us know what you think of our efforts and please support the Center financially if you can. ***