LTC Bullet: Reality Check: The Facts on LTCI: Thousand Bullets Retrospective
Friday, April 12, 2013
LTC Comment: Overview 15 years of “Reality Check: The Facts on LTCI” after the ***news.***
*** ANNOUNCING: CLTCR Premium Membership -- Center for Long-Term Care Reform premium members receive our full suite of individual membership benefits including: our LTC Bullets and E-Alerts; access to our Members-Only Zone website and Almanac of Long-Term Care; subscription to our Clipping Service; and email/phone access to Steve Moses for 24-hour turnaround queries. Our Premium Membership is designed to give you a competitive advantage in your long-term care profession. Your increased knowledge of the critical issues and challenges we face in the field of long-term care service delivery and financing equals improved professional success for you and better LTC services for your clients and for those who have no choice but to rely on scarce public resources. Premium Membership is $250 per year, paid up front or monthly by automatically recurring credit card payments. Contact Damon at 206-283-7036 / email@example.com to start your Premium Membership immediately or go directly to our secure online subscription page and sign up for as little as $21 per month. ***
*** Genworth has recently published its latest (2013) annual Cost of Care Survey. Here are the press release, cost of care map and key findings. The report’s key findings can be summarized from the press release:
In its 10th year, the Genworth (NYSE:GNW) 2013 Cost of Care Survey shows a continued upward trajectory when it comes to the cost of obtaining long term care services. The cost of receiving care in a setting such as an assisted living facility or nursing home is dramatically increasing, while the cost to receive care at home through homemaker services or a home health aide is rising at a much more gradual pace.
As usual, this report has been archived along with many other Long-Term Care Cost Surveys in our Members-Only Zone (password protected). If you need your user name and password, or are not yet a member and would like to join, click here or simply contact Damon (206-283-7036 / firstname.lastname@example.org). ***
LTC Bullet: Reality Check: The Facts on LTCI: Thousand Bullets Retrospective
LTC Comment: Once a week, usually on Fridays, we publish our LTC Bullet. The Bullets are often policy pieces, sort of like op-eds. You can always find the five latest Bullets here and archives of all 994 Bullets (so far), by date here and by topic here. These nearly-1000 articles are a valuable historical resource. Please make use of them. Search for key terms using Control-F on your keyboard.
This year, in celebration of the thousandth LTC Bullet and the Center’s 15th anniversary (April 1), we are releasing a retrospective of the most interesting and dramatic LTC Bullets that we’ve published since the Center’s founding in 1998. We’ll highlight one Bullet per year in each of seven major topics: “The LTC Problem and Solutions”; “Reality Check: The Facts on LTCI”; “Medicaid Planning”; “LTC Services”; “Politics and Legislation”; “Demographics and Other Data”; and “CLTCR News.”
Today’s Bullet is our “Thousand Bullets Retrospective” Number 2 covering “Reality Check: The Facts on LTCI.” These “Reality Check” Bullets address inaccuracies and faulty data that abound in media coverage of long term care insurance and include anecdotes from the popular press that highlight the benefits of planning ahead and taking personal responsibility for long term care. Read our summary and check out the original at the link provided. Enjoy this walk down memory lane.
June 6, 1998: LTC Bullet: New York Times Misinformed on LTC Insurance. “This morning's New York Times contained an article about long-term care financing. The article accurately conveyed the gravity of long-term care as a personal and public policy issue. Unfortunately, some information in the article regarding private long-term care insurance was inaccurate and misleading. Furthermore, the author of the article cited exclusively sources who promote public financing and denigrate private financing of long-term care. The following is a letter to the editor of the New York Times regarding the long-term care article from Stephen A. Moses, President of the Center for Long-Term Care Financing in Seattle, Washington.”
November 22, 1999: LTC Bullet: SmartMoney Isn't So Smart. “The November issue of SmartMoney magazine contains a worrisome article titled ‘To Protect and To Save’ by Jackie Day Packel. The article is full of misleading statements, inaccuracies, and dangerous advice about long-term care insurance. This LTC Bullet is the second in our ‘LTC Reality Check’ series. The comprehensive analysis--which we encourage you to save as a valuable reference--comes courtesy of Eileen Tell, Vice President of The LTC Group, Inc. Eileen can be reached at ETELL@LTCG.COM with any questions or comments.”
November 20, 2000: LTC Bullet: Reporter Nails It. “We are often frustrated by unfair and inaccurate media coverage of long-term care financing issues. Reporters usually criticize private long-term care insurance (LTCI) mercilessly while giving government programs like Medicaid and Medicare a free ride. Of course, LTCI has its challenges. Rate stability and agent training come to mind. But the government programs have far more serious deficiencies related to access, quality, reimbursement, discrimination, and institutional bias. Nevertheless, private long-term care insurance is routinely lambasted in the media while the public financing programs get off scot-free. Except . . . once in awhile a reporter gets it right with accurate and thoughtful advice. The following are excerpts from an article entitled ‘Nail Down Long-Term Care Now’ by Pam Kelley in the November 7, 2000 issue of ‘The Charlotte Observer.’”
January 8, 2001: LTC Bullet: The Mote in LTC's Eye. "LTC Bullets readers often ask us for sample speeches from which they can draw ideas to use in their own public addresses. We've obliged occasionally by posting transcripts of lectures delivered by Center for LTC Financing President Steve Moses on our web site at www.centerltc.org. We've received so much positive feedback on these postings that we have decided to add more of Steve's talks to the site. The speech we are posting today is entitled ‘The Mote in LTC's Eye.’ You can find the transcript at http://www.centerltc.org/speakers/mote.htm. This talk argues that public criticism of the long-term care service delivery and insurance professions is often overblown, heavily biased, and grossly unfair. Conversely, the media and senior advocates who lambaste long-term care providers and insurers rarely apply the same strict standards of review and criticism toward public programs. Nevertheless, Medicaid and Medicare are arguably more responsible for long-term care's serious access and quality problems than is the private sector.”
December 17, 2002: LTC Bullet--Book Report: "J.K. Lasser's Choosing the Right Long-Term Care Insurance". “Following is an article that purports to warn consumers about dangers of LTC insurance touted in a new book. Thereafter, read comments by author/trainer Phyllis Shelton and a critical book report by Center for Long-Term Care Financing President Stephen Moses.”
July 2, 2003: LTC Bullet: The WSJ on LTCI--Reality Check. “We desperately need good media coverage of long-term insurance. Unfortunately, most newspaper stories on this topic are inaccurate and misleading. Today's LTC Bullet, written by Eileen Tell of the Long-Term Care Group, is the latest in our series of ‘LTC Reality Checks.’ Our reality-check Bullets address inaccuracies and faulty data that abound in media coverage of long term care insurance. They also cover anecdotes from the popular press that highlight the benefits of planning ahead and taking personal responsibility for long term care. You can read the whole series of 61 LTC Reality Check Bullets at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/subject.htm - reality_ck We extend our sincere appreciation to Ms. Tell and to her employer, the LTC Group, for this informative critique of a recent Wall Street Journal article (Kelly Greene, ‘Buying a Security Blanket -- Revisited,’ WSJ Online, June 9, 2003). We encourage LTC Bullets readers to forward this Bullet to your local reporters who cover long-term care. To share this Bullet with the Wall Street Journal, send a copy to mailto:email@example.com. Excerpts from the article follow Ms. Tell's review in this [LTC Bullet].”
October 20, 2004: LTC Bullet: Reality Check: Flawed Article on LTCi. “Long-term care insurance. Can't live with it; can't live without it. That's the media's schizophrenic attitude toward this struggling financial services product. Jonathan Clements' ‘Getting Going’ column, titled ‘The Flawed, Expensive Insurance Policy That You Really Ought to Consider,’ in the October 13, 2004 Wall Street Journal is a case in point. If you have a subscription to the WSJ Online, you can access the Clements column at http://online.wsj.com/article_print/0,,SB109761785904843414,00.html.
Following [in this LTC Bullet] are some quotes from the piece followed by our comments.”
December 7, 2005: LTC Bullet: LTC Demagogy. “What drives AARP? Advocacy of good public policy? Or cynical, narrow-minded, misguided self-interest? The Medicaid motives of this mammoth mouthpiece for maturity are now clear. ‘The nation's top senior citizen advocacy group has targeted members of Congress with advertisements in their hometown papers opposing House spending cuts, largely because of the bill's provision to change Medicaid. . . . The group ran ads Friday in the local newspapers of several Republicans, including some liberals, and of some key lawmakers who will help merge the House and Senate versions of the bill, such as Sen. Charles E. Grassley, Iowa Republican and Senate Finance Committee chairman.’ Source: Amy Fagan, ‘AARP Ads Fight Medicaid Changes,’ The Washington Times, December 5, 2005, http://www.washingtontimes.com/national/20051204-113549-6448r.htm. A few good people in Congress finally muster the courage to reform Medicaid so it can better serve the interests of the truly needy and how does AARP respond? Here's the notorious newspaper ad targeted against members in their local districts who defend Medicaid against abuse. (The House budget reconciliation package at issue is the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. Review it at http://thomas.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/z?c109:hr.4241:.)” Read more in this LTC Bullet.
March 28, 2006: LTC Bullet: Microsimulate This! “Heaven knows that people--including policy analysts, legislators, policy makers, senior advisors and just plain folks--desperately need reliable information on the risks and costs of long-term care. Therefore, the article by Peter Kemper, Harriet L. Komisar, and Lisa Alecxih titled ‘Long-Term Care Over an Uncertain Future: What Can Current Retirees Expect?’ and published in the Winter 2005/2006 issue of the journal Inquiry (Vol. 42, pps. 335-350) is a welcome addition to the literature. (You can purchase a .pdf of this article for $10 at www.inquiryjournal.org.) We won't take issue with the article's estimates of LTC incidence which are well within the ranges of earlier research. We do believe, however, that mistaken assumptions lead the authors to some incorrect conclusions about LTC costs and probable sources of future funding. We wonder what the output would show if the authors input reality, instead of mistaken assumptions, into their microsimulation model. To explain, here are quotes [in this LTC Bullet] from the article followed by our comments and analysis.”
October 10, 2007: LTC Bullet: 125,000 LTCi Policies and No Claims Payment Problem. “A week after New York Times muckraker Charles Duhigg bashed LTCi last March, I explained what's really happening in an LTC E-Alert (one of our daily ‘mental vitamins’ for Center members.) The Society of Actuaries re-published my piece in its "Long-Term Care News" (August 2007, Issue No. 19, pps. 11-12, http://www.soa.org/library/newsletters/long-term-care/2007/august/ltc-0807.pdf.) And here it is again [in this LTC Bullet].”
March 12, 2008: LTC Bullet: National Underwriter Highlights Center's WSJ Response. “After the publication of ‘LTC Bullet: WSJ Attacks LTCI, We Respond’ on Tuesday, February 26, 2008, we received a flood of phone and email messages thanking the Center. Read that piece at http://www.centerltc.com/bullets/latest/747.htm. ‘In all my years defending Medicaid as an LTC safety net for the poor by encouraging responsible LTC planning by the middle class and affluent, I've never received such an outpouring of appreciation,’ said Center for LTC Reform president Steve Moses. Now, the insurance industry publication National Underwriter has echoed the sentiment and elaborated on the need for and kind of industry response that is required.” Read more in this LTC Bullet.
March 12, 2009: LTC Bullet: LTCi Pollyannas. “Steve Moses's letter (in this LTC Bullet) to the editor of National Underwriter's LTC E-Wire speaks for itself. The letter does not, however, recommend a collapse of Medicaid, LTCi's biggest competitor. It only predicts what will happen. Therefore, a better title than the one assigned by the editor would be: ‘What will unleash the long-term care market?’ The text of the letter and a link to the online version follow [in this LTC Bullet].”
February 8, 2010: LTC Bullet: The Enemy of LTC Truth. “Einstein disdained ‘unthinking respect for authority,’ but he wasn't alone. President John F. Kennedy said:
‘The great enemy of truth is very often not the lie--deliberate, contrived and dishonest--but the myth--persistent, persuasive and unrealistic. Too often we hold fast to the clichés of our forebears. We subject all facts to a prefabricated set of interpretations. We enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought.’
The field of long-term care financing is a perfect case in point. What exactly are the ‘persistent, persuasive and unrealistic’ myths of long-term care?” Read this LTC Bullet to find out.
November 4, 2011: LTC Bullet: Why 9 Out of 10 Get LTCI Wrong. “I [Steve Moses] was practically blown over when I read the following article by Steve Forman, a long time supporter of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform whose company, LTC Associates, is a corporate member of the Center. ‘I couldn't have said it better myself’ isn't praise I give often or lightly, but it's deserved in this case. I hope you enjoy these excerpts and that you check out the full article on the Producers eSource here.”
July 20, 2012: LTC Bullet: Nursing Home Spend Down Misunderstood and Late-Breaking LTCI Industry News. “The Employee Benefit Research Institute (EBRI) usually does excellent research and analysis. But they sure got this one wrong. According to ‘Effects of Nursing Home Stays on Household Portfolios,’ by Sudipto Banerjee, Ph.D., Employee Benefit Research Institute, Issue Brief #372, June 2012, the cost of nursing home care is wiping out life’s savings, impoverishing families, and leaving them dependent on Medicaid. Well, that should sound familiar. It’s how the problem of long-term care financing has always been described. Wrongly. What’s different this time is that the EBRI report claims to base the mistaken conclusion on facts.” How so? Read this Bullet for Steve’s analysis.
This e-mail is the latest installment of "LTC Bullets" - the Center's periodic online news service covering the latest information and trends in long-term care financing. We welcome responses to the material presented. All past issues of LTC Bullets may be read on the Center's web site at http://www.centerltc.com
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