LTC Bullet:  Moses and Shelton on NPR re LTCi  

Wednesday, September 6, 2006 

Seattle-- 

LTC Comment:  Center president Steve Moses and LTCi author and trainer Phyllis Shelton held forth on the importance and value of long-term care insurance last weekend on National Public Radio.  A link and excerpts after the ***news.*** 

*** REMINDER.  The Center for Long-Term Care Reform is going offline from September 8 until the 29th.  That does not mean we won't be fighting on your behalf for rational long-term care policy.  It just means we won't be publishing our weekly LTC Bullets, our daily LTC E-Alerts, or the LTC Blog at www.centerltc.com.  Except for one week (9/11-18/06), someone will be on duty at the Center to take your calls, answer your questions, and sign you up if you're not yet a member.  So stay in touch. *** 

*** ELDER ABUSE IRONY.  In an otherwise excellent column on financial abuse of the elderly by their families, WSJ writer Jeff Opdyke says this: 

"Establish a relationship with a local elder-law attorney . . ..  These lawyers can help set up legal safeguards.  More important:  They can read between the lines if you show up with someone else in tow looking to change your will or power-of-attorney." 

Source:  Jeff D. Opdyke, Wall Street Journal, "Intimate Betrayal:  When the Elderly Are Robbed by Their Family Members," August 30, 2006, Page D1, http://online.wsj.com/article/SB115689331870748918.html?mod=djemPJ (subscription required.) 

Here's our comment to Mr. Opdyke:  "How ironic that you point readers to elder law attorneys whose cash cow is artificially impoverishing frail and infirm elderly (usually at the behest of their adult children) to qualify them for welfare-financed long-term care, the biggest swindle of the elderly of all.  Google "Medicaid planning," then give me a call if you're interested in learning more.  I wrote a WSJ op-ed on the subject last December:  http://online.wsj.com/article/SB113477649883625141.html.  Steve Moses" *** 

*** GET ON BOARD.  See what we're up against?  The national media gives credence to Medicaid planners; private industry cedes the moral high ground to poverty-makers; and LTCi producers are left holding the bag.  It does not have to be this way.  Help us make the ethical case for responsible long-term care planning.  If you're not yet a member of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, now's the time to join.  Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or damon@centerltc.com.  Then enjoy our publications, the rich content at www.centerltc.com, our password-protected website The Zone, and the Center's LTC Forum online bulletin board.  Help us fight for rational long-term care policy. *** 

 

LTC BULLET:  MOSES AND SHELTON ON NPR RE LTCI  

LTC Comment:  Last weekend, American Public Media's "Marketplace Money" show aired a story on long-term care insurance by National Public Radio reporter Nancy Farghalli.  Center president Steve Moses and long-time Center member and supporter Phyllis Shelton were featured.  You can listen to the show and read a transcript by following a link at www.centerltc.com or go directly to http://marketplacemoney.publicradio.org/display/web/2006/09/01/longterm_care_insurance/.  

Have you ever been quoted in the media?  If so, perhaps you've had the feeling you were misquoted or misinterpreted.  Reporters almost never get your meaning exactly right.  But what if, as on radio, your own words from your own mouth are aired.  Still, out of context, they may seem to mean something you didn't intend.  Phyllis and I have commiserated about this, but decided "There's no such thing as bad publicity."  Can you tell from our broadcasted comments what was taken out of context?   

Just remember this:  millions more people have heard the importance of long-term care planning emphasized yet again in a public broadcast medium trusted implicitly by many Americans.  

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Excerpts:   

"Seniors are living longer and the cost of elder care is rising.  There are long-term care policies that lower the costs of nursing homes and assisted living centers.  But are they worth the price?  Nancy Farghalli reports. . . .  

"Jean [Rosenfield] is 78 years old.  In March, she underwent quadruple bypass surgery.  She's recovering at home thanks to Delia, her home health aide. . . . 

"Jean's long-term care insurance policy covers Delia.  That's because Jean can no longer bathe or dress by herself.  Jean calls her insurance policy a lifeline. 

"ROSENFIELD:  I think it is the most important and necessary thing for all people, because they always say about life insurance and that is when you die, but what about the living? 

"Most people don't buy long-term care policies. 

Steve Moses is the President of the Center for Long-term Care Reform.  He says older people rely on federal programs such as Medicaid and Medicare.  But those programs don't always cover long-term home health care or assisted living facilities. 

"STEVE MOSES:  People don't take the risk seriously and they don't plan for it.  And they don't insure for it in any greater numbers than they do, which is five to 10 percent of the general population. 

"Once those people have the policies, they don't want to give them up. 

"MOSES:  It turns out once somebody has a long-term care policy, once they have it, you can't tear it out of their cold dead fingers.  I mean they stick with it and with so few policies lapsing companies have ended up with more claims to pay. 

"For that reason, some companies have hiked premiums.  That's led to some proposed changes in the insurance industry-like penalties for unexpected rate increases. 

"Long-term care expert and author Phyllis Shelton: 

"PHYLLIS SHELTON:  The policies today are what's called guaranteed renewable and in insurance lingo that just means that the company can't cancel you as long as the company is in business and as long as you pay your premium.  There can be a class rate increase, which means on an entire group of people but never on a person, alone. . . . 

"[Estelle] Marco is the director of this private-pay facility where monthly rents range from $2,500 to $6,800.  About 10 percent of the residents have some form of long-term care insurance.  Marco says many people who tour the facility want policies. 

"ESTELLE MARCO:  Out of 10 tours, maybe two have it.  Out of 10 tours, nine wish they had it. . . . 

"I'm Nancy Farghalli for Marketplace Money."