LTC Bullet: Buy or Wait?
Friday, May 2, 2014
LTC Comment: ObamaCare has launched; Vermont is moving toward a
single-payer health care system; surely long-term care is next. So why
buy LTCI? After the ***news.***
*** THREE WAYS to stay professionally abreast of LTC news, trends and
data: (1) Our “clipping service,” (2) LTC E-Alerts, (3) LTC
Bullets. The Alerts and Bullets come to you once a week
on Mondays and Fridays respectively. Our clippings arrive in your email
inbox at an average rate of three per day. Individual Center members
($150 per year) automatically receive Alerts and Bullets.
Premium ($250) and Premium Elite ($500) members also receive the
clippings. Corporate members can provide our Center benefits to their
staff and producers at various levels. Check out the Center for Long-Term
Care Reform’s “Membership Levels and Benefits”
here. If you belong to the Center already, please encourage others to
join. If you’re not yet a member, join and encourage your company to sign
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LTC BULLET: BUY OR WAIT?
LTC Comment: Bob Vandy, Marketing VP for Center-corporate-member
New York & National Long-Term Care Brokers, contacted me the other
day. He said one of their agents has a prospect for LTC insurance who is
reluctant to buy. After all, Vermont is moving forward with a
single-payer health care system over the next three years and maybe
long-term care will be included. Perhaps you’ve encountered similar
I had a look at Vermont’s 2012-2014 “Strategic Plan for Health Reform.”
The sum of the state’s proposal for long-term care is this: “Implement
specific efforts to better manage care for Vermonters with one or more
chronic conditions.” The only specific action proposed under that heading
is to coordinate Medicare and Medicaid revenue sources. Such a plan
doesn’t exactly instill confidence in anyone who understands the current
state of LTC services and financing.
But people will cling to any excuse to avoid responsible long-term care
planning. The federal and state governments provide such excuses in
abundance. Politicians promise new and larger benefits; they rarely
campaign on taking anything away. Nowadays, LTC Commissions, study
groups, and think tanks are adding to the public’s false sense of security
by suggesting a new policy consensus is forming. With so many smart
people agreeing that “something has to be done,” surely something will be
Don’t hold your breath. We’re much more likely to see the current Rube
Goldberg, publicly financed LTC non-system collapse than to find a
workable new government-based plan implemented. The Center for Long-Term
Care Reform’s latest three state-level studies provided the evidence.
Check them out
here (Georgia) and
here (New Jersey). In each of those reports, we showed why the
national LTC system and each state’s system is unlikely to survive.
We summarized our results in “LTC
Bullet: Can Long-Term Care Survive?” In a nutshell:
Factor #1: America faces a crushing challenge of aging
Factor #2: Longer life spans mean more, if not necessarily longer,
Factor #3: The principal LTC payer today, Medicaid, is already
over-burdened and inadequate, yet ObamaCare is loading it with millions
Factor #4: Federal revenue streams that support state Medicaid
programs are dubious due to national debt ($17.5 trillion) and unfunded
entitlement liabilities ($66.1 trillion).
Factor #5: State revenue streams that support Medicaid programs
are vulnerable due to poor economies caused by over spending, excessive
taxation and anti-business policies.
Factor #6: Public financing of long-term care has crowded out most
of the private financing alternatives that could have helped including LTC
insurance and home equity conversion, but also asset spend down and estate
recovery which Medicaid does not strongly enforce.
Factor #7: Government has given so much to so many for so long
that a new “entitlement mentality” has replaced Americans’ traditional
commitment to personal responsibility.
We concretized, measured and evaluated these factors in the three studies
mentioned above. In any one of the three, you’ll find our “Index of
Long-Term Care Vulnerability.” Try applying it to your state and see what
conclusion you reach. Show it to any prospect reluctant to plan for
long-term care because they think government will have to “do something.”