LTC Bullet: Victory! Model LTC Education/Planning Bill Enacted in Maryland
Friday, April 21, 2017
LTC Comment: Kudos to Maryland activists for new LTC education and planning task force legislation just signed by Governor Larry Hogan. Details after the ***news.***
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LTC BULLET: VICTORY! MODEL LTC EDUCATION/PLANNING BILL ENACTED IN MARYLAND
LTC Comment: Thanks to the indefatigable efforts of resident “LTCi geeks,” especially the “Maryland Roundtable,” Melissa Barnickel, and Center Premium Elite member Sally Leimbach of TriBridge Partners, LLC, with the support and encouragement of NAHU and NAIFA state chapters and industry associations AHIP and ACLI, the “America-in-Miniature” state of Maryland will have a “Task Force on Long–Term Care Education and Planning” starting June 1, 2017.
On April 18, Republican Governor Larry Hogan signed the bipartisan authorizing legislation, passed recently by the Democrat-dominated state legislature. The task force’s mission is to:
(1) examine the status of long–term care education in the State; (2) consider options for improving efforts to educate residents of the State about planning for long–term care; and (3) make recommendations regarding long–term care education, including recommendations regarding education methods that will: (i) ensure that no Maryland resident reaches the age of 50 without having received complete information about the risk of needing long–term care and the private options available to pay for long–term care; and (ii) include information about the Maryland Medical Assistance Program [aka Medicaid], how the Program is funded, and whom the Program is intended to serve.
Why does Maryland need such a task force? According to the Act’s preamble:
WHEREAS, Baby boomers represent 15% of the U.S. population and Maryland is home to 1.5 million baby boomers; and
WHEREAS, About one–quarter of the 1.5 million baby boomers in the State will require long–term care that will cost at least $100,000 over the course of their lifetimes, with nearly two–thirds of this population having to pay for this care out of pocket; and
WHEREAS, A number of Maryland residents may not understand that they may not be able to rely on the State and federal government to pay for their long–term care needs; and
Maryland residents may be under a misconception that the Maryland Medical
Assistance Program and other State programs will sufficiently cover the
cost of their long–term care; and
WHEREAS, Maryland residents are in need of education regarding the cost of and need for planning for long–term care; now, therefore,
This effort to educate the public about long-term care planning is needed in Maryland and in every other state.
Who will serve on Maryland’s new LTC education and planning task force?
(1) the Secretary of Aging, or the Secretary’s designee;
(2) the Secretary of Health and Mental Hygiene, or the Secretary’s designee;
(3) the Maryland Insurance Commissioner, or the Commissioner’s designee; and
the following members, appointed by the Governor:
(i) one representative of the Maryland Association of Certified Public Accountants;
(ii) one representative of the Maryland Bar Association;
(iii) one representative of the Financial Planning Association of Maryland;
(iv) one representative of the Maryland Association of Health Underwriters;
(v) one representative of the National Association of Insurance and Financial Advisors of Maryland; and
(vi) one representative of the Maryland Association of Private Colleges and Career Schools; and
(vii) one representative of the Health Facilities Association of Maryland.
shall designate the chair of the Task Force.
United Seniors of Maryland shall provide staff for the Task Force.
December 1, 2017 is the Task Force’s deadline to report its findings and recommendations to the Governor and the General Assembly. Let’s hope this initiative is more successful than its many state- and federal-level LTC-study-committee predecessors. Given the energy, enthusiasm and perseverance of the people who designed and promoted this task force, we can have every reason to believe it will raise public awareness of the critical need for early and effective long-term care education and planning.