LTC Bullet:  Center and Friends in the Press 

Thursday, May 25, 2006 

Seattle-- 

LTC Comment:  Earned media trumps paid advertising every time as the Center for Long-Term Care Reform and its supporters frequently demonstrate.  Details after the ***news.*** 

*** LTCI PRODUCERS SUMMIT.  Each year, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance and LTCi Sales Strategies magazine convene a gathering of the nation's leading LTCi producers and marketers.  If you want to take the pulse of the LTCi market, the Summit is a premier conference to attend.  The 2006 Summit will be held November 5-7 at the Hilton Hotel in Austin, TX.  A limited number of FIRST TIME ATTENDEES can still register for $225 (regular Early Registration is $395).  The complete Summit program and details on the First Timers discounted fee can be found on the Association's Website:  http://www.aaltci.org/2006summit.  Center president Steve Moses is proud to be speaking again at this year's Summit.  He urges you to register now.  Don't delay, as the Summit has sold out in prior years. *** 

*** LONG-TERM CARE AWARENESS WEEK.  The first week of November is also Long-Term Care Awareness Week, an opportunity to increase your exposure to consumers, policymakers and the media.  Find details about LTC Awareness Week on the website of its organizer, the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, http://www.aaltci.org/subpages/updates/awareness_week/faq.html.  Available for all are Awareness Week logos to add to your E-mails and artwork you can print out and use.  Kudos to AALTCI for creating this opportunity and the free tools to make the most of it. *** 

*** CENTER SUPPORTERS WHO PUBLISH will be recognized here in the future.  We'll announce your article or media appearance in this space and provide a hyperlink to it when available.  But first we need to know what you've done.  Please send copies of and/or links to your published materials or appearances to smoses@centerltc.com.  In the meantime, here are some items published by Center members recently.

Jodi Anatole (of MetLife), "Private and Public Sectors Join Forces to Create Affordable LTCI Options," Broker World, Vol. 26, No. 5, May 2006, pps. 24-28. 

James Dove, "Understanding Preferred Health Discounts," LTCi Sales Strategies, Vol. 8, No. 1, April/May/June 2006, pps. 12, 38. 

Barry J. Fisher, "So You Think LTCI is Expensive?  Compared to What?," Broker World, Vol. 26, No. 5, May 2006, pps. 30-34. 

Ron R. Hagelman, Jr., "A Difficult Proposition," Broker World, Vol. 26, No. 5, May 2006, pps. 82-3. 

Allen Hamm, editor and author, Long-Term Care Planning:  Assuring Choice, Independence and Financial Security, Plan Ahead, Inc., 2005.  Order this book by calling 800-400-0577.  It contains a chapter by Stephen Moses titled "The Coming Challenge of Long-Term Care," pps. 253-261. 

Claude Thau, "Small Differences Equal Big Marketing Opportunities," LTCi Sales Strategies, Vol. 8, No. 1, April/May/June 2006, p. 10. 

Valerie VanBooven, "The Reverse Mortgage Opportunity for LTCi Producers," LTCi Sales Strategies, Vol. 8, No. 1, April/May/June 2006, p. 25. 

LTC Comment:  We are proud of the people, companies and organizations that support the Center for Long-Term Care Reform.  They include many of the most knowledgeable, articulate and well-published people in the field of long-term care.  Thank you for the important work you do and for the extra efforts you take to inform and educate the rest of us with your publications. 

 

LTC BULLET:  CENTER AND FRIENDS IN THE PRESS 

LTC Comment:  So far this year, I've done twelve media interviews and the Center for Long-Term Care Reform has been quoted and cited in ten articles that we know about.  Publications that have covered our message include the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the New York Daily News, the Dallas Morning News, Kiplinger's Personal Finance Magazine, McKnight's Long-Term Care News, Assisted Living Executive, and several others.  When you have a small budget but a big message, nothing helps more than a national media megaphone. 

Today, we highlight three recent articles that cite the Center for Long-Term Care Reform and help convey our message.  Citations and excerpts follow. 

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Mary Beth Franklin, "Medicaid Gets Tough:  Prepare to Pay for Your Own Long-Term Care," Kiplinger's Retirement Planning, Fall 2006, pps. 100-103; this is a reprint of the article originally published in the May 2006 issue of Kiplinger's Personal Finance magazine. 

After she explains the Medicaid eligibility changes in the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, which were intended to target the welfare program's LTC benefits to the needy and encourage others to pay privately for long-term care with insurance, reverse mortgages or savings, the author writes: 

"Thatís exactly as it should be, says Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, a Seattle advocacy group that has led the charge for tougher rules that restrict Medicaid to the truly poor instead of allowing it to be used as what Moses calls inheritance insurance for baby-boomers.  He says Americans can no longer ignore the stupendous costs of nursing-home care or count on a government bailout.  'There is no more free lunch for long-term care,' says Moses, who believes that unless things change, the future needs of todayís middle-aged baby-boomers will destroy an already overburdened Medicaid system. 

"Whether you believe families should be able to preserve assets for an inheritance or think itís only fair that they spend those assets on a family member who requires a nursing-home stay, the new Medicaid-reform law alters how you should plan for long-term care and how you will have to pay for it.  IF YOU DONíT OWN A LONG-TERM-CARE INSURANCE POLICY--OR IF YOU REJECTED THE IDEA BEFORE--YOU SHOULD SERIOUSLY CONSIDER GETTING ONE NOW."  (pps. 87-88, emphasis added) 

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Anya Martin, "Medicaid Matters," Assisted Living Executive, Vol. 13, No. 4, May 2006, pps. 16-24.  Excerpts:   

"Perhaps the biggest news for assisted living providers is the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) of 2005, which passed Congress and was signed into law by President George W. Bush in February, says Stephen A. Moses, president of the Seattle-based Center for Long-Term Care Reform, Inc." 

"'For the last 40 years, it's been very easy for the public to ignore the risk of long-term care, to avoid making any plans and wait and see if they get sick,' Moses says.  'If they do, they qualified easily for Medicaid nursing home care.  You could hire an attorney and be on Medicaid in thirty days.' 

"Previously, a senior's home, no matter its value, was exempt from consideration for Medicaid qualification, and the asset look-back period for eligibility was only three years.  Under the DRA, the home equity exemption is limited to $500,000 and the asset look-back period is extended to five years.  A host of other 'loopholes' has been eliminated, such as 'transfer assets before income,' 'Medicaid-friendly annuities,' 'life estates,' 'partial month transfers,' and 'self-canceling installment notes,' notes Moses in the March 9 edition of LTC Bullets, the newsletter of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. . . . 

"These tighter rules . . . preserve Medicaid as a safety net for those who truly need it and protect Medicaid's fiscal viability in the face of rapidly mounting medical expenses and the aging of the baby boomer generation, Moses says.ī. . . 

"But while Congress had cost-cutting in mind, the implications for assisted living are 'wondrously positive,' Moses says.  Now forced to pay for their care, more seniors who qualify for assisted living may choose it.  They may save or invest their money in anticipation of covering those costs.  They may also be more likely to purchase long-term care insurance, which can be applied to assisted living, or to take out a reverse mortgage, the proceeds of which can be used to pay for assisted living.  With other options out there, such as home health care, assisted living providers would be wise to consider this possible new resident pool in their marketing strategies, as well as urging their state legislatures to enforce the DRA rules. 

"With 2006 an election year, Moses does not predict any further tightening of rules immediately nor perhaps even before the 2008 presidential election.  However, as the baby boomers age, he thinks that Congress will pass more Medicaid eligibility restrictions, reducing asset and home equity levels further, perhaps in 2010-11." 

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Susan Konig, "HHS Reports Medicaid Estate Recovery Low, Varies from State to State," Health Care News, Heartland Institute, April 26, 2006,  http://www.heartland.org/Article.cfm?artId=18936

Excerpt:  "The current HHS brief illustrates 'why most assets disappear before state Medicaid programs' half-hearted recovery efforts, which are further hamstrung by arbitrary federal rules, are even attempted,' said Stephen Moses, president of the Center for Long Term Care [Reform].  'One couldn't ask for a better argument to reduce Medicaid's outrageously high asset exemptions and exclusions so that resources are spent for quality long-term care in the private market before people become dependent on public welfare programs.  Such programs are often unequipped to operate business-like recovery programs.'    

"Kansas, Minnesota, Oregon, and a handful of other states operate relatively successful Medicaid estate recovery programs 'in spite of the obstacles put in their way by federal regulations and Medicaid planners,' Moses said." 

LTC Comment:  Just imagine how many more people would plan responsibly for long-term care by purchasing insurance or using their home equity to purchase top-quality services in the private market if Medicaid weren't giving away the product and failing to recover from recipients' estates as mandated by federal law. 

Reminder:  When you see the Center for Long-Term Care Reform cited in a published article, please let us know.  You can email smoses@centerltc.com or simply reply to any LTC Bullet or LTC E-Alert.  And, again, when you publish something yourself, let us know so we can recognize your contribution in an LTC Bullet.