LTC Bullet: Hagelman on “How to Fix Long-Term Care Financing

Friday, October 27, 2017


LTC Comment: Don’t miss Ron Hagelman’s October Broker World column. A recap follows the ***news.***

*** LTC CLIPPING: 10/26/2017, Trump health official Seema Verma has a plan to slash Medicaid rolls. Here’s how,” by Casey Ross, STAT

Quote: “With a broad overhaul of Obamacare stalled in Washington, one of President Trump’s top health care leaders is drawing the outlines of sweeping changes to Medicaid that could pare enrollments and cut costs without congressional approval. . . . ‘We want to get to the point where we are making the whole waiver process easier,’ Verma said during a discussion at the Cleveland Clinic’s annual medical innovation summit. ‘We’re not going to tell the states what their priorities are. They are going to come and tell us what their priorities are.’”

LTC Comment: Hallelujah, it’s about time. Waivers are our opening to work directly with states on LTC financing reform.

*** LTC CLIPPING: 10/26/2017, “Genworth Survey: Consumers' greatest fear about aging is not having enough money to pay for long term care, but few plan ahead,” Genworth Financial

Quote: “Not having enough money to pay for care is the greatest fear adults have about aging and their long term care needs, according to a recent consumer survey by Genworth, but only one in five have taken any action toward financing their long term care expenses. Furthermore, only half of the respondents said they plan to take personal financial responsibility for their own care as they age. The others said they would leave that worry to the government, their children or family, community or faith-based organizations, or had no idea who would provide their care.

LTC Comment: Denial lives, but is it justified? Medicaid pays for most long-term care and it is much easier to get than ostensibly strict financial criteria suggest. The reality, that neither income nor assets obstruct Medicaid eligibility after care is needed for most Americans, is the real reason most people don’t worry about LTC until they need it. ***

*** SUBSCRIBE TO LTC CLIPPINGS: We scan the news searching for data, articles and reports you need to know about. Then we send you a brief email (like the ones above) with title, author, source link, a representative quote, and our brief analysis. LTC Clippings help you stay at the forefront of professional knowledge. To subscribe, contact Damon at 206-283-7036 or ***



LTC Comment: First, who is Ron Hagelman?

Ronald R. Hagelman Jr., CLTC, CSA, LTCP, CLTC, CSA, LTCP, has been a teacher, cattle rancher, agent, brokerage general agent, corporate consultant and home office executive. As a consultant he has created numerous individual and group insurance products. A nationally recognized motivational speaker, Hagelman has served on the LIMRA, Society of Actuaries, and ILTCI committees. He is past president of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance and continues to work with LTCI company advisory boards. He remains a contributing "friend" of the SOA LTCI Section Council and the SOA Future of LTCI committee. Hagelman is president of Broadtower Insurance Solutions, a national IMO helping BGAs enhance LTCI production. Hagelman can be reached at Broadtower Insurance Solutions, Inc., 156 N. Solms Rd., New Braunfels, TX 78132. Telephone: 830-620-4066. Email: Website:

In his own words, Ron is an “old soldier” and a “brother in arms” sharing the Center for Long-Term Care Reform’s mission to improve LTC services and financing.

He writes a monthly column for Broker World magazine. If you aren’t subscribed to that periodical and reading that column every month, you’re out of the loop for professional knowledge about long-term care insurance.

Ron’s October column, titled “Just Say No,” is especially dear to our heart. In it he analyzes the Center’s latest study: “How to Fix Long-Term Care Financing.” Over the years, we’ve published many studies and journalists have reviewed most of them. But no reviewer has read our work so closely and explained it so clearly as Ron Hagelman in this column. Below is enough to give you the flavor, but by all means read it in full here. If you don’t have a subscription to Broker World, we strongly advise you to get one and gain access to this excellent print and online source.

Quotes from Ronald R. Hagelman, Jr., “Just Say No,” Broker World, October 2017

“I have always been impressed by the single minded purpose and passion of our dwindling cadre of LTCI specialists. To my knowledge no one has stayed as laser focused and dedicated to basic reason, sometimes painful truths and necessary reform of the long term care financing conundrum as Stephen A. Moses, president of the Center for Long Term Care Reform. He has recently released a report for The Foundation for Government Accountability titled How to Fix Long-Term Care Financing. Stephen’s message is, as usual, well documented, and his conclusions about the cause and effect of the poorly crafted, deservedly maligned and strategically counter-productive Medicaid federal boondoggle are ‘spot on.’ This definitive analysis should be required reading for all those involved in the struggle to fix a system that is clearly broken. It has often been concluded in this column that there are no easy answers, no single strategy to turn around a system that clearly rewards bad behavior and inadvertently reduces the quality of care that should be its core mission. Stephen has convinced me that I may have been wrong. (Again.) There may be one most critical pressure point. One laser focused missile might destroy America’s most prolific ‘Death Star.’”

“We have long suspected that the original intentions of Medicaid to help those most in need had been long subverted by a specific intent to defraud the American taxpayer. It seems there have always been those who somehow created a rationalization process that believes any and all means of exercising legal ‘loopholes’ to knowingly circumvent the intent of the program is acceptable.”

“We know there must be risk and clear consequences of not taking action to protect yourself and your family for anyone to plan ahead. We should know that far too many believe the government should pay for their care, and that if that is what they want they can have it if they are willing to pay the required minimal legal fees. Two unavoidable truths stare back at us from this concise review: Medicaid pays, and if you wish for them to pay they will!”

“Now let’s return to the reform suggestion that could do the most to bring down a system that is doomed to continue to remain its own worst enemy. All American’s have left is qualified savings and home equity. Of the two it is, I believe, the potential loss of home equity that would strike the greatest fear in the hearts of those who have so far failed to plan. Instead of constantly adjusting the limitations, perhaps the time has come to remove permanently the entire home equity exemption from the Medicaid eligibility equation. Just say no and Americans would scramble to hedge their exposure. Just say no and new monies would flow into the private care market. You would, of course, have to close the back door by extending the look back period. Potentially utilizing home equity to pay for long term care expenses would force folks to rethink their property inheritance decisions, bringing insurance back into the equation. Using their own money for care would improve services offered and could dramatically enhance the desire to remain at home for care in the first place. Honestly, I was not a fan of the original ‘Just Say No!’ campaign as I thought it was simplistic and unrealistic and overbearing. Maybe not this time!”

LTC Comment: OK, read the whole column for more. Then check out the source for the full story of what’s wrong with long-term care services and financing in the USA and what we need to do to fix it: “How to Fix Long-Term Care Financing.”