More on Oklahoma
Oklahoma, like many states, has taken the initiative to prepare for the coming problem of lack of Long Term Care Insurance coverage for its residents via a “partnership” program between private industry and the State. Oklahoma’s population is rapidly aging and awareness of the need for Long Term Care Insurance remains low. Long Term Care Insurance covers the cost of services such as nursing homes, in-home care and assisted-living care when one is unable to care for themselves and is not covered by regular health insurance and only by Medicaid if one qualifies, which can be difficult without exhausting all of your assets.
With Oklahoma’s innovative Long Term Care partnership program, “consumers have access to high-quality, long-term care insurance that will provide benefits should they need long-term care in the future and, at the same time, may allow the consumer to retain some assets in the event that the consumer applies for SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid).” 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. And, given that the Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 2/3 of all Americans will need long-term care at some point after they pass age 65, this does, indeed, constitute a problem to be reckoned with.
Many Americans, regardless of the State in which they live, 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. Residents of Oklahoma are able to participate in the Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program via a number of policy options that meet certain State-mandated criteria. Oklahoma, like many states, recognizes the need to encourage its residents to prepare for their future long-term care needs and aims to reward those who do their part in solving this problem of Long Term Care Insurance coverage by planning ahead and protecting themselves and their assets.
Basically, it works like this: the Partnership program “helps Oklahomans prepare for their future by making long-term care policies available which may protect a portion of your assets. This “asset disregard” may help them should they apply for SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) once the benefits in their long-term care policy were depleted.” This means that partnership policyholders can shield their assets should they need to apply for SoonerCare, Oklahoma’s Medicaid plan, as normally one is required to exhaust all assets before qualifying for Medicaid’s long-term care coverage. Highlights and requirements of the Partnership Program include: Long-term care policies are available which may protect a portion of your assets via an “asset disregard” should you have to apply for SoonerCare (Oklahoma Medicaid) after the benefits in their long-term care policy were depleted. The average cost of a private room in an Oklahoma nursing home in 2007 was $132.85 each day (more than $48,000 per year). Each year, those costs increase.
An average length of stay is two and a half years. These costs are not easily covered by most people, out-of-pocket. Policies cover all traditional long-term care services such as bathing, dressing, assisted living, nursing care, and other services. Policies approved by the Oklahoma Partnership program allow you to protect assets but they also offer flexibility in where you receive your care, whether in a facility or your own home. Other long-term care policies do not include these features. If you choose a tax-qualified policy, federal law allows you to claim some of the premium as a medical deduction, and the benefits of these policies are not taxable. Assume that you buy a partnership policy that provides $100,000 in benefits and you receive benefits of $100,000 for the policy for your long term care expenses. When you apply for SoonerCare, they will disregard $100,000 of those assets when determining your eligibility for the program. Note that Sooner Care’s income guidelines will still apply.
The Oklahoma Long-Term Care Partnership program offers a consumer brochure and a list of approved providers of partnership policies to assist you. Once you’re ready to purchase a Long Term Care Insurance plan via the Oklahoma Partnership Program, we can help you prepare for your future long-term care needs and secure all that you’ve worked so hard to achieve. LTC Tree can assist you in finding a plan through the Oklahoma Partnership Program that is right for you, no matter your age or financial status. If you’d like to learn more about our affordable Long Term Care Insurance policies, simply fill out this form.