“Has a long term care insurance policy been put into place?” At Geyer & Associates, we know the answer to that question is going to make a big difference in our clients’ overall estate planning. “While most Americans don’t believe they’ll need long term care,” observes AARP, “70% of those turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long term care during their lives.”
AARP lists three parties who benefit from long term care:
- Families who want to help protect their loved ones, lifestyle, and assets
- Retirees and pre-retirees wanting to preserve the money they’ve worked hard to save
- Individuals who many not have someone to care for them or enough assets to pay for care
As Indiana elder law attorneys, we’re proud of the fact that our state was one of the first states to create a Long Term Care Partnership program to help our residents protect their savings from the cost of long term care. And, while quite a number of insurance carriers offer long term care insurance, only a few offer policies under the Indiana Long Term Care Partnership Program.
The Partnership program was formed in 1993, with the two partners being:
1. The State of Indiana
2 Private insurance companies
Each of the parties agrees to do certain things:
- The insurance companies agree to provide coverage for home and community-based care, including assisted living facility and nursing home care, that meets more stringent requirements of the plan.
- The state, in turn, agrees to two things: a) guarantees that buyers will receive protection from Medicaid spend down (they can be eligible for Medicaid benefits and still keep assets) and b) allows the estate of the insured to keep assets at least equal to the amount of benefits used, without having to pay back the Medicaid dollars the insured received.
As part of our work with clients, therefore, Geyer & Associates takes note of the current Indiana Partnership policy requirements. For 2016, for example, those are:
$115 minimum daily benefit
$336,927 total lifetime assets protection (If you are interested in preserving all your assets, your LTC policy must conform to those minimum amounts.)
Doesn’t traditional long term care (not Partnership) insurance protect assets? Yes, in the sense that the benefits of the policy pay expenses so you don’t need to. However, the asset protection from Medicaid spend down is available only with Partnership policies.
Indiana is in partnership with long term care!
– by Corinna A. Smith of Rebecca W. Geyer $ Associates