LTC Bullet: How to Save Medicaid $20 Billion Per Year

Wednesday, January 5, 2005

Seattle--

LTC Comment: Read a white paper on how to save Medicaid $20 billion per year and improve the program in the process. After the ***news.***

*** TODAY'S BULLET is sponsored by Target Insurance Services and Claude Thau, who serve LTCi producers nationwide. They say "Target has unique capabilities in helping brokers find and service sponsored markets -- carve-out, association, financial institution, etc. Contact Claude Thau at mailto:cthau@targetins.com or 800-999-3026, x2241 to discuss opportunities." Thanks so much, Target and Claude, for your generous support of the Center. Won't you help too? Please go to http://www.centerltc.org/support/sponsor_bullets.htm to sponsor an LTC Bullet. Find out how you can sponsor other Center activities (e.g., articles, speeches, conference "embed" reports) by contacting Amy Marohn-McDougall at 425-377-9500 or amy@centerltc.org ***

*** LTC AUTHOR AND TRAINER MARILEE DRISCOLL has made the following offer: "PR Boot Camp Gets You Media & HELPS THE CENTER. Register for Marilee Driscoll's PR Boot Camp in either San Diego (Fri., 1/28) or Las Vegas (Fri., 2/18) and help the Center. Register by the January 5 early registration deadline (TODAY) using coupon code CENTER and save $25 off the early registration price of $349 for this all-day program. AND, Marilee will make a generous donation to the Center in your name. Learn how to get quoted in the paper, interviewed on radio and TV. Learn how to do your own publicity. If you plan to outsource PR, attend to learn what a publicist can and can't do for you - and how to hire and manage a publicist. Media coverage positions you as the local expert. Get the power of the press on your side in 2005! For details and to register, go to http://www.marileedriscoll.com/ and click on PR Boot Camp." ***

*** 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 Reader #5-001--Older Than You Think (Social Security has underestimated life spans which jeopardizes the program and underscores the need for LTCi.)

LTC E-Alert #5-001--Why Buy? or What if I Don't Buy? (Which is the right question to ask about long-term care insurance?)

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 http://www.centerltc.com/members/index.htm .

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: http://www.centerltc.com/members/index.htm . 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 mailto:damon@centerltc.org your preferred user name and password (up to 10 characters each). You can also contribute online by credit card or direct withdrawal at http://www.centerltc.com/support/index.htm . ***

LTC BULLET: HOW TO SAVE MEDICAID

LTC Comment: Everyone knows Medicaid costs are skyrocketing. Long-term care expenditures are a big part of the problem. The Bush Administration reportedly has Medicaid in its sights this year as a target for severe budget cuts. This fact has state governors and legislators, senior interest groups, and LTC provider associations up in arms to protect federal funding for Medicaid. A huge clash is in the offing.

But what if there were a way to save Medicaid a lot of money and improve the program at the same time? That would be something everyone could support.

Today, the Center for Long-Term Care Financing--a 501(c)3 charitable, nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank and public policy organization--released a white paper titled "How to Save Medicaid $20 Billion Per Year AND Improve the Program in the Process."

A summary follows. Download or read the full seven-page document at http://www.centerltc.org/pubs/howtosavemedicaid.pdf .

For additional information, contact Center President Stephen Moses at 206-283-7036 or smoses@centerltc.org .

----------------

Summary of "How to Save Medicaid $20 Billion Per Year AND Improve the Program in the Process"

* Medicaid is supposed to be America's long-term care safety net for the poor. Instead, it is the principal LTC payor for nearly everyone.

* Medicaid's LTC benefit has become "inheritance insurance" for baby boomers, lulling them into a false sense of security regarding their own future long-term care needs.

* Medicaid's generous LTC eligibility and elastic income and asset limits create perverse incentives that invite abuse and discourage responsible long-term care planning.

* The conventional wisdom that most people must spend down their life savings before they qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits is a myth, demonstrably false.

* If people's biggest asset, their home equity, were at risk to pay for long-term care, most people would plan early to save, invest and insure against that risk.

* Reverse mortgages permit people to withdraw supplemental income or assets from their otherwise illiquid home equity without risking use of the home. This extra cash can purchase services to help them remain at home and delay or avoid Medicaid dependency altogether.

* The single most effective step Congress and the President can take to fix Medicaid, reduce its cost, and improve America's long-term care service delivery and financing system is to replace Medicaid's home equity exemption with a reverse mortgage as a pre-condition of eligibility.

* That simple measure will pump desperately needed financial oxygen into the LTC service delivery system, relieve the burden of Medicaid on taxpayers, enable Medicaid to provide better access to higher quality care for the genuinely needy, and supercharge the market for LTC insurance and home equity conversion products.

----------------

Would you like to help us get this white paper to the "powers that be?" Just go to the link above, download the paper, save it, and then attach it to an email to your federal and state legislators and executives.

To find out how to contact your Senators by email, go to:
http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm

To find your Congressional Representative or Governor, go to: http://www.congress.org/congressorg/dbq/officials

To find your state legislators, search for "[Name of State] Legislature" to find your state legislature's web site, then find and click on a link to identify the Senator and Representative for your district or zip code.