LTC Bullet: Marilee Driscoll Reports on the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit (Part 1 of 2)

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Seattle-

LTC Comment: Todayís LTC Bullet is the first in a two-part series covering the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit as reported by your solid correspondent, Marilee Driscoll. Details after the ***news.***

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LTC Bullet: Marilee Driscoll reports on the 2nd Annual Partnership Summit (Part 1 of 2)

Writer bio:

Marilee Driscoll is a speaker, consultant, and Principal/Creative Director of www.FollowUpSystems.net, a company that makes it easy for LTCi agents to increase sales and referrals by staying in touch with contacts. She is also the founder of Long-Term Care Planning Month, founded in 2001, and the only LTC planning event listed in Chaseís Calendar, the official Guide to Holidays and Events. Become a sponsor and be listed at the web site now! www.LTCmonth.com

Miss Driscoll is author of "The Complete Idiotís Guide to Long-term Care Planning." She is a gold sponsor of the Centerís LTC Consciousness Tour, and tour PR and marketing consultant.

Report ONE of TWO:
"Charting the Future of Long-Term Care Insurance"
The Second Annual Partnership Summit, July 9, 2008, Baltimore, MD

NOTE FROM YOUR CORRESPONDENT: When I decided to attend the Summit, Steve Moses asked if Iíd write a report for the Center. What youíll find below and in the next report are what I consider the highlights of the different presentations throughout the day. Although you missed the great crabcakes in Baltimore Harbor, these reports are the next best thing to being there!

  • Marilee Driscoll

The second annual Partnership Summit brings key state and industry leaders together to share their perspectives on how to deliver solid and simple benefit options along with Medicaid asset protection to broaden the market appeal for long-term care insurance.

The audience of 160 was filled with a variety of Partnership stakeholders, but was weighted heavily in favor of the state government employees who are charged with interpreting Partnership and implementing their stateís version of Partnership.

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MARK MEINERS, Ph.D., a professor in the department of health administration and policy at George Mason University, ran the conference. He is also the National Program Director of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Medicare/Medicaid Integration Program.

Dr. Meiners shared his thoughts with the crowd, and itís clear that he lives and breathes Partnership, a passion that served the event beautifully. Partnership, he explained, is a public policy intervention into the long-term care insurance market. The deficit reduction act contains carrots and sticks for people to do personal long-term care planning. With Partnership policies, there is a benefit of an additional asset disregard when and if the policyholder has a claim that exceeds LTCI benefits, and wants financial relief in the form of the Medicaid program. In other words, policy holders get to keep one dollar in assets for every one dollar in Partnership benefits that their policy paid.

The middle market is most likely to benefit from partnership. The message to the middle market is now you will have Medicaid if you need it and you'll be able to keep your resources.

It's important to note that the value added proposition for the middle market and Partnership is this: If they have Partnership LTCI asset protection in place, they are no longer at risk of impoverishment if their need for long-term care exceeds their policy amount. This is a marked improvement compared to states that do not have partnership policies. A middle market person could become impoverished, even though they have long-term care insurance if they don't have a partnership policy.

The next presenters were Ted Pass from StrateCision, Inc., and Aaron Vickar, from the Buckingham family of financial services.

TED PASS, of StrateCision, Inc. showed the results of an economic model which illustrated how partnership policies can protect assets at MUCH lower daily benefits than non-partnership policies, making them more affordable toward the middle market. The concept behind the model was that a middle class person for whom typical LTCI premiums are too expensive, could buy a small daily benefit Partnership policy in order to obtain asset protection. There are some potential problems with this approach, and the presentation inspired a spirited discussion. Tedís idea for software, perhaps available to consumers, that can solve for a Partnership policy design that secures a personalized amount of asset protection, is an admirable one.

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It is better to create a plan 10 years too soon than one day too late, according to AARON VICKAR (a licensed insurance agent and investment advisor with the Buckingham family of financial services). Aaron had a fascinating model which used Monte Carlo simulation to show the effect of long-term care Partnership plans as a way for even the wealthy to dramatically reduce their odds of ever running out of assets and outliving their money.

He looked at the possibility of running out of money if long-term care insurance is bought versus not bought with the premise "is long-term care a waste of money if I never need long-term care?"

In one scenario, the wealthy couple had a 58% chance of NOT outliving their assets if no long-term care insurance is in place and there is a 10-year need for long-term care. That percentage jumps to 72% if long-term care insurance is in place. Vickarís conclusion was: what's the harm in buying long-term care insurance. It appears the prudent person would take a look at the relatively low investment to dramatically increase their odds of never outliving their assets.

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GAIL HOLUBINKA, V.P. of Legislative Affairs with Med America Insurance Company brought her unique perspective to a riveting presentation comparing partnership with the alignment of the sun, planets and stars. Holubinka was the original developer and Director of the NY Partnership for LTC. Her message was powerful, and she has walked in the shoes of both the government employee in the room, and, now, the insurance company.

She described the two main constituents of partnership: the government as one planet and the insurance industry as another. Then she explained how each has separate goals and separate responsibilities. She warned: the parties may work concurrently, but they do not work together.

The government planet is concerned with saving Medicaid, innovation, integration, public good, Medicaid expertise, and the one state in which they are residing, in the partnership world. The insurance industry is interested in expanding a long-term care insurance market, uniformity, separation, private risk, LTCI expertise, in all 50 states.

As someone who spent time on the government side and is now on the insurance company side, her perspective was very insightful. She made the point with the opportunity of partnership also comes risk.

She asked: what happens if the consumer moves to another state that does not have reciprocity for Partnership asset protection? She urged each state to think globally versus locally in implementing their version of partnership.

Another risk was: what if the consumer wants to change their policy? Future changes could affect partnership status. For example, the DRA is silent about exactly what percentage inflation protection needs to be on a policy, and how long the inflation protection must be on the policy.

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ATTY. STEPHEN SERFASS, partner at Drinker, Biddle, Reath, LLP and the leader of the firms Long Term Care Insurance Team, presented in a tough spot: after Gail and before lunch. But he managed to hold the audienceís attention with a speech that included stories about his young children learning to ride bikes being analogous to Partnership, and he pulled it off! Disclosure: This writer did miss a portion of the presentation, and begs the forgiveness of the kind reader!

Hear what speakers such as Maryann Hack (former Director of the Indiana LTC Insur. Program (Partnership)), Phyllis Shelton, and Don Grimes had to say in the next Partnership Summit Report.