Filed Under:Health Insurance, Ltci

Senate to Put LTCI Under the Microscope

Sen. Herb Kohl (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate)
Sen. Herb Kohl (Photo courtesy of the U.S. Senate)

The Senate Special Committee on Aging wants to look for ways to save money on long-term care (LTC), and also to talk about the future of private long-term care insurance (LTCI).

The committee has scheduled an LTC hearing to start at 2 p.m. EDT Wednesday.

The people of the United States spent $294 billion on paid LTC in 2009, and LTC services accounted for 14% of all U.S. spending on personal health care services that year, committee staffers note in the hearing announcement.

Medicaid spent $209 billion on LTC, Medicare spent $63 billion, and patients and their families spent $52 billion the staffers say.

"The hearing will focus on the long-term care system and opportunities for improving the quality of care while at the same time achieving significant cost savings," the staffers say. "The hearing will also highlight the need, risks and costs of long-term care insurance, especially for working Americans. "

The chairman of the committee, Sen. Herb Kohl, D-Wis., has put out an initial hearing witness list that includes Douglas Holtz-Eakin, a former Congressional Budget Office (CBO) director; John O’Brien, the director of health care and insurance at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; Loren Colman, the assistant commissioner in charge of LTC at the Minnesota Department of Human Services; Judy Feder, a professor at Georgetown University; and Dr. Bruce Chernof, president of The SCAN Foundation, Long Beach, Calif.

None of the witnesses on the initial witness list appears to have significant experience with designing, pricing, underwriting, selling or administering private LTCI products.

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