More on Vermont
Effective January 15, 2010, Vermont has instituted a program to tackle the problem of lack of Long Term Care Insurance coverage for its residents via a “partnership” program between private industry and the State. Vermont, like most States, has an aging population in the state 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.
Vermont’s program follows:
“the partnership model which permits an individual who purchased a certified partnership policy to protect a portion of their assets, should the individual need to apply for Medicaid after using up their long-term care insurance benefits. Specifically, partnership policies provide for the disregard of assets or resources in the amount equal to the long-term care insurance benefit payments that are made to or on behalf of a beneficiary under a partnership policy. Consumers are thus protected from having to become impoverished to qualify for Medicaid and states avoid bearing the entire burden of long-term care costs.”
Vermont residents are strongly encouraged to take advantage of this development and begin preparing now for their future long-term care needs. According to a recent study, 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. The estimates are 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 relatives to care for them in retirement should they become unable to care for themselves.
Residents of Vermont are able to participate in the Vermont Long Term Care Partnership Program via a number of policy options that meet certain State-mandated criteria. Vermont, like many states, 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. The program essentially works like this:
“allows consumers to receive and pay for the long-term care services they need, while maintaining the ability to become financially eligible for Medicaid without spending down or transferring all their assets.”
This enables partnership policyholders 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 and unique aspects of the Vermont Partnership Program include:
- The requirement that Vermont adopts certain National Association of Insurance Commissioners (“NAIC”) long-term care model regulations.
- The condition that Vermont may not impose requirements on partnership policies unless the same requirements apply to non-partnership policies.
- The requirement that long-term care partnership policies contain age-specific inflation protections consistent with the DRA.
- The requirement that producers who sell long-term care policies be trained in and demonstrate an understanding of the protections offered to purchasers of long-term care insurance and how the insurance relates to public and private coverage of long-term care.
The “age-specific inflation protection” requirements are absolutely crucial here and are an important part of any Long Term Care Insurance plan. Inflation protection ensures that your policy will pay out in tomorrow’s dollars and that you are covered for the care you need.
Are you a resident of Vermont? LTC Tree can help you start planning today for your future long-term care needs and securing all that you’ve worked so hard to achieve for your retirement. LTC Tree can assist you in finding a plan through the Vermont Long Term Care Partnership Program that is right for you, no matter your age or financial status.