Although a bit dated (2009), these numbers are troublesome:
- The people of the United States spent $294 billion on paid LTC .
- LTC services accounted for 14% of all U.S. spending on personal health care services.
- Medicaid spent $209 billion on LTC.
- Medicare spent $63 billion, and
- Patients and their families spent $52 billion .
The Senate Special Committee on Aging has started a round of meetings to address these problems, look for ways to save money on long-term care (LTC), and also to talk about the future of privately-owned long-term care insurance (LTCi). The committee scheduled LTC hearing to start at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday, April 18.
In commentssfrom Senate staffers, it was noted that none of the witnesses on the initial witness list appears to have significant experience with day-to-day realities of caregivers, nor do they appear to have much knowledge of designing, pricing, underwriting, selling or administering private LTCi policies.
It is hoped that during the second round of hearings, the Senate Special Committee on Aging will invite private agencies that help caregivers create plans of care and insurance industry professionals that understand the challenges facing carriers that provide long-term care insurance and/or LTC benefits linked to other insurance contracts.
We’ll be monitoring the testimony and deliberations of this advisory committee carefully. In our opinion, an “above-the-line” tax deduction for payment of privately-owned long-term care insurance is the one reform that would have the greatest stimulus for individuals to own their own coverage and take a large burden of covering costs off the back of entitlement programs.