A diverse group of long-term care policy experts and stakeholders has issued a report proposing major changes in the way long-term care is financed and delivered in the United States. The Long-Term Care Financing Collaborative’s report proposes a new catastrophic long-term care insurance program as well as changes to Medicaid’s long-term care benefit.
The Collaborative spent three years studying long-term care in the U.S., and although its members represent a broad range of ideological views, they were able to agree on a number of key recommendations to pay for and improve long-term care services.
The Collaborative’s main recommendation is to establish a universal catastrophic insurance program aimed at providing financial support to those with high levels of long-term care needs over an extended period of time. The idea is for individuals with high levels of long-term care needs to pay for their own care for one or two years and then receive a lifetime daily benefit. Individuals with lower lifetime incomes would be eligible to receive the catastrophic benefits sooner than individuals with higher incomes.
The Collaborative also recommends changing Medicaid law to provide the same services to institutional and non-institutional recipients. The goal would be to make Medicaid more flexible and responsive to the needs of individuals.
Other recommendations include encouraging private sector initiatives to revitalize long-term care insurance to lower costs and increase enrollment for non-catastrophic risks, and increasing retirement savings and improving education on long-term care costs.
To read the full report, go here: http://www.convergencepolicy.org/ltcfc-final-report/.
For an analysis by collaborative member Howard Gleckman of the Urban Institute, click here.