Filed Under:Health Insurance, Disability

LTC commission eyes educational accounts

Bruce Chernof (SCAN Foundation photo)
Bruce Chernof (SCAN Foundation photo)

The federal Commission on Long-Term Care seems to be leaving private long-term care insurance (LTCI) out of a package of long-term care (LTC) system recommendations it will be sending Congress.

The 15-member commission makes no direct mention of private LTCI in a summary of recommendations it released today.

The commission says it will recommend that Congress let people with "significant disabilities...access the educational savings program" to save for a current or future need for LTC services.

In the bill Congress used to kill the worksite LTC benefits program that was to be created by the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), the commission plans to release the full report Sept. 18. The commission is supposed to end its work after it sends it recommendations to Congress.

Commission officials said the "educational savings programs" they are referring to are Section 529 college savings programs.

Aat a hearing in August, the commission talked about the use of 529 college savings accounts and savings accounts linked to government health programs as vehicles for paying for LTC services.

Backers of private LTCI had been hoping the commission might include calls for help for private LTCI, such as new tax incentives, in the package of recommendations.

Although the commission does not refer directly to private insurance in its recommendations, the commission does say its vision includes a "sustainable balance of public and private financing.

In a section on Medicaid improvement, the commission suggests testing a program that would offer workers who are getting public disability support benefits that would help them stay employed.

The commission is also recommending that the government set up a national LTC advisory committee. The new committee should consider "potential financing frameworks" as a starting point for its work, the commission says.

The commission says nine of the 15 commission members voted for the package of recommendations.

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