The state of South Carolina, like many states across the country, has developed aunique and viable solution to tackling the long-term care “crunch” facing its citizens in the coming decades. This “crunch” in long-term care is a national phenomenon that is exacerbated as the population ages. Awareness of the need for Long Term Care Insurance remains low nationwide and thus many are left vulnerable. Long Term Care Insurance is insurance that pays for services such as nursing homes, in-home care and assisted-living care when one is unable to care for themselves.
These services are not covered by regular health insurance and only by Medicaid if one qualifies, which can be difficult without exhausting all of your assets. The South Caroline Long-term Care Partnership Program “is a joint effort between the federal Medicaid Program and Long Term Care (LTC) insurers. The Long Term CarePartnership was developed to encourage people to plan for their future Long-Term Care (CLTC) needs, such as residing in a nursing facility or receiving CLTC waiveredservices in a home or community-based setting.” A recent study found that 7 in 10 Americans have made no plans for long-term care and many were not even aware of this type of insurance and what it covers. Furthermore, a full 35% think they will never need long-term care assistance and given that the Department of Healthand Human Services estimates that 67% of all Americans will need long-term care at some point after they pass age 65, there is a huge mismatch between reality and perception here. Thus, many Americans are now at risk of having to exhaust their nest egg or rely on their children or other relative to care for them in retirement should they become unable to care for themselves due to illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia or any illness that renders them helpless. But, if you are a resident of South Carolina, you should be aware of the South Carolina Long Term Care Partnership Program which offers those who do their part in solving this “crunch” of long-term care a way to protect themselves and their assets. Basically, it works like this: those who purchase a Long Term Care Insurance “Partnership Policy” from one of the insurers certified to sell these policies in South Carolina are eligible for Medicaid Asset protection. This enables participants to shield their assets should they need to apply for Medicaid as normally one is required to exhaust all assets before qualifying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage.
Highlights of the South Carolina Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program:
- Policies must provide a specific amount of inflation protection based on the person’s age when the policy is purchased
- Policies must meet other requirements determined by the Department of Insurance
- A person who requests Medicaid assistance for long-term care services after exhausting some or all benefits of a qualified Partnership policy may have certain assets “disregarded” equal to the benefits paid by the qualified policy at the time the person is determined eligible for Medicaid
- These assets are not counted when the person’s Medicaid eligibility is determined and will not be recovered during estate recovery when the person dies
This means you can keep more of your hard-earned money and protect your nest egg from being depleted by the costs of long-term care services. More information is available on the South Carolina Long Term Care Partnership Program website. Are you a resident of South Carolina and want to start planning today for your future and securing all that you’ve worked so hard to achieve for your retirement? By purchasing a Long Term Care Insurance policy through South Carolina’s Partnership for Long Term Care Insurance program, you can rest easy knowing that you’re covered for your future long-term care needs.