LTC Bullet: What's Your LTC Plan?

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Indianapolis, Indiana (LTC Tour Mile 20,190; State #30)--

LTC Comment: LTC Planning Month has arrived. Read all about it in today's LTC Bullet, written by LTCMonth.com founder, LTC Tour Gold Sponsor, and national PR and Marketing consultant Marilee Driscoll. After the ***news.***

*** LIMRA "THINKING OUTLOUD" PODCAST WITH STEVE MOSES. I keynoted a special event for LIMRA (formerly the Life Insurance Marketing and Research Association) at the organization's headquarters in Windsor, Connecticut on July 31. Read all about it in "LTC Bullet: LIMRA on the LTC Tour" at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/latest/769.htm. But now you can listen too. Public Relations Director Howard Drescher interviewed me about the Center for Long-Term Care Reform's 2008 LTC Tour for LIMRA's very first podcast in a new series titled "Thinking Outloud with LIMRA." Check it out at http://www.limra.com/outloud/default.aspx. ***

*** GOLLY, WHERE HAVE WE HEARD THIS BEFORE? Medicaid long-term health care costs to soar in US By Will Durham, Reuters. Sep 30, 2008 According to a recent report released by America's Health Insurance Plans, Medicaid spending for long-term care for the disabled and elderly will total in the neighborhood of $3.7 trillion in the next 20 years (http://www.ahip.org/content/default.aspx?docid=24597). These figures include individual state spending, projected at $1.6 trillion, and $2.1 trillion in federal money. In a separate report released by the Kaiser Family foundation health policy organization http://www.kff.org/medicaid/7815.cfm, Medicaid enrollment grew by 2.1 percent in the 2008 fiscal year after showing a decline in the prior fiscal year. Read article. Source: AHCA / NCAL Gazette Tuesday, September 30, 2008 ***

*** SO WHAT? Why are exploding Medicaid LTC costs so critical? Research by Jeff Brown and Amy Finkelstein--reported here and published on www.nber.org--shows Medicaid crowds out two-thirds to 90 percent of the potential market for LTC insurance. (See our interview with Professor Brown at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=buQfyhzBa0E.) If and when Medicaid LTC financing collapses, as it is certainly threatening to do in the foreseeable future, the market for private long-term care insurance will increase dramatically. Don't hold your breath, but keep a close eye on this issue. Unfortunately, as we've been warning for years, many poor people will be hurt and middle class and affluent people, who had routine access to Medicaid in the past, won't in the future. But as Medicaid's financial problems force more and more people to self-fund their LTC from savings and home equity, the public will finally begin to buy more private insurance for this risk. I just hope it's not too late to salvage some kind of safety net for people truly in need. ***

*** LTC TOUR UPDATE. Two grueling but great LTC Tour days are now behind us. Gold LTC Tour Sponsor OneAmerica's Marketing Vice President Bruce Moon rode shotgun with me in the Silver Bullet of LTC round trip from Indianapolis to St. Louis, nigh on to 600 miles. We met with Life Insurance Selling editor Gordon Bess, presented to an audience of financial advisors affiliated with OneAmerica, and addressed consumers at an RSVP (Retired Service Volunteers Program). On the way back to Indy, Bruce snapped this shot of the Silver Bullet's odometer with his Blackberry's camera. That's 20,000 miles of hard driving and heavy exposure of the LTC Tour's message of responsible long-term care planning and rational LTC public policy. None of this could happen without the LTC Tour's generous sponsors, whom we thank here again and always. ***

 

LTC BULLET: WHAT'S YOUR LTC PLAN?

LTC Comment: Welcome to LTC Planning Month, which begins today. And special thanks to Marilee Driscoll for lifting the burden of writing from my shoulders today with the following essay. I asked Marilee to tell us more about LTC Planning Month and this is what she sent:

"What's Your Long-Term Care Plan?"

"What's your long-term care plan?" This open-ended question is the heart and soul of Long-Term Care Planning Month. Founded in 2001 by long-term care speaker and author Marilee Driscoll, LTC Planning Month is the first event dedicated to LTC planning ever listed in Chase's Calendar. Chase's Calendar (www.Chases.com) is the official reference guide found on library reference shelves and on the desks of media producers and bookers.

The event philosophy is that the focus needs to be on action. Every month, of every year, until someone can answer the question "What's your long-term care plan?" So, Long-term care Planning Month is much more than just an event in October. Every month of the year it is supported and promoted by: 1) a web site (www.LTCmonth.com); 2) a free monthly newsletter for consumers (subscribe here http://www.ltcmonth.com/contact.asp); 3) a weekly newspaper column written for Gatehouse Media by Marilee Driscoll, (named LTC123); 4) and other writing and speaking by Marilee. The website was recommended in USA Weekend magazine to 23 million readers, among many other media hits.

Readers of this newsletter will want to sign up for the free newsletter at www.LTCmonth.com, as Marilee has planned a blitz of publishing during the month of October. All of the information is aimed toward the aging public, baby boomer adult children, and their legal and financial advisors. The messaging is simple: What's your long-term care plan? To explain further, "If you don't have a realistic plan, that plan isn't funded, and your family, doctors and key advisors don't know about the plan, you're playing a dangerous game with your future. In other words, without proper planning, the likelihood of having the lifestyle you desire if you need long-term care is slim to none," according to Marilee Driscoll.

Long-term Care Planning Month takes an interdisciplinary approach to the topic. The event, website and its local listings, and consumer newsletter continue to generate a lot of interest as an objective, credible source of the overall topic of LTC planning. All of this effort was done by Marilee for two reasons, as she explains on LTCmonth.com:

"1) to provide up-to-date, unbiased, objective information and perspective on the many aspects of long-term care planning, and;

2) to help the many consumers who have written (Marilee) asking for local help, by providing on the site a directory of associations, businesses and agents who can help at a local level."

It's not too late to become a sponsor. Sponsors receive a laundry list of tools and benefits to raise the visibility of LTC planning, and their organization, in their community. From labels, to presentations, to monthly newsletter text, logos, the website listing, a 35-page marketing manual and more, the value of sponsorship makes the decision to sponsor a no-brainer! New listings are normally set up within 2 business days of receiving your order. Become a sponsor during the month of October, and Marilee has agreed to waive your set-up fee, and donate your first month's fee ($29 for a local listing) to the Center for Long-term Care Reform. Request sponsorship information here: http://www.ltcmonth.com/sponsors.asp. Become a sponsor before the next big media hit happens!

The website has recently been enhanced to display government listing results below sponsor listings in the Local Help results pages. Go to the Local Listings area of the site to get links to each state's Office of Elder Affairs and Divisions of Insurance.

Marilee Driscoll is known to most of us as the author of "The Complete Idiot's Guide to Long-term Care Planning." She is also Creative Director and Principal at FollowUpSystems.net, an electronic and print newsletter company that makes it easy for LTCi agents to stay in touch with their contacts.

Marilee Driscoll is a gold sponsor of the LTC Consciousness Tour, and has been a friend of the Center and subscriber for several years. She is also the marketing and PR consultant to the tour, and the brain behind our YouTube channel, beautiful "on the road" themed full-color ads, and many other tremendously effective strategies that otherwise wouldn't have been possible.