Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care
Why should you plan?
Because, at least 70 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives. And, contrary to what many people believe, Medicare and private health insurance programs do not pay for the majority of long-term care services that most people need - help with personal care such as dressing or using the bathroom independently. Planning is essential for you to be able to get the care you might need.
With the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005, the federal government sent a clear message to Americans — paying for long-term care is your responsibility.
The Act made it more difficult to qualify for Medicaid paid long-term care. It also expanded the Partnership Program.
A Partnership Program is a collaboration or “partnership” among a state government, the private insurance companies selling long-term care insurance in that state, and state residents who buy long-term care Partnership policies.
The purpose of the Maine Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership program is to make the purchase of shorter term more comprehensive long-term care insurance meaningful by linking these special policies (called Partnership qualified policies) with Medicaid for those who continue to require care.
Partnership qualified policies must meet special requirements that can differ somewhat from state to state. Most states require Partnership policies to offer comprehensive benefits (cover institutional and home services), be Tax Qualified, provide certain specific consumer protections, and include state specific provisions for inflation protection. Often the only difference between a partnership qualified policy and other long-term care insurance policies sold in a state is the amount and type of inflation protection required by the state.
Income & Asset Protection
An Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care qualified policy provides you, as the purchaser, with the right to apply for Medicaid under modified eligibility rules that include a special feature called an ‘asset disregard’. This allows you to keep assets that would otherwise not be allowed if you need to apply, and qualify, for Medicaid in order to receive additional long-term care services. The amount of assets Medicaid will disregard is equal to the amount of the benefits you actually receive under your long term care Partnership qualified policy.
Since these policies must include inflation protection, the amount of the benefits you receive can be higher than the amount of insurance protection you originally purchased. If you have a Partnership-qualified long term care insurance policy and receive $200,000 in benefits, you can apply for Medicaid and, if eligible, retain $200,000 worth of assets over and above the State’s Medicaid asset threshold. In most states the asset threshold is $2,000 for a single person. Asset thresholds for married couples are typically more generous.
The following is an example of how a Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care Qualified policy works. Let's say John purchases a Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care policy with a value of $200,000. Some years later he receives benefits under that policy up to the policy’s lifetime maximum coverage (adjusted for inflation) equaling $250,000. John eventually requires more long-term care services, and applies for Medicaid. If John's policy was not a Partnership-qualified policy, in order to qualify for Medicaid, he would be entitled to keep only $2,000 in assets. He would have to spend down any assets over and above this amount. However, because John bought a Partnership-qualified policy, if he needs to apply for Medicaid and is deemed eligible, he can keep $252,000 in assets and the State will not recover those funds after his death. However, any assets John has over and above the $252,000 would have to be spent in order for him to be eligible for Medicaid. For a couple the exempt amounts would be more.
Long-term care is one of the largest unfunded liabilities facing families and our government today. Recent legislative underscores the government’s support for the idea that private insurance must assume the lead in providing for Americans’ long-term care. Yet, many of the 78 million Baby Boomers who are fast heading into retirement have not planned for their future long-term care.
In addition, many retirees who once thought they could afford to self-insure long-term care expenses are facing the need to protect their shrinking assets in a down market making it much more difficult to self-insure these expenses.
Long-Term Care Partnership Policies
Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care qualified policies are designed to preserve your independence, quality of life and protect assets. Partnership long-term care policies offer the same benefits and options as non-Partnership policies and cost the same as non-Partnership policies.
Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care
policy benefits include:
• daily or monthly benefit
• choice of elimination period or deductible
• comprehensive coverage including home, adult day care and facility coverage
• benefit period (pool of money)
One factor that distinguishes a partnership policy from a non-partnership policy is the mandatory age appropriate inflation protection. This automatically increases your benefits to keep up with the increased cost of care. Partnership policies must provide inflation protection at issue as follows:
60 and younger: automatic compound inflation
61–75: any inflation protection (compound, simple, CPI)
76 and older: inflation protection is discretionary
The Guaranteed Purchase Option or Future Purchase Option inflation benefit offered by many carriers, also referred to as GPO or FPO, does not qualify as a inflation option under Partnership as this type of inflation protection is considered optional since the insured can opt not to exercise it.
You must qualify medically for a Maine Partnership for Long-Term
Care policy just as you would for
traditional long-term care insurance. The younger you are, the better
the chance to qualify at favorable rates and lower premium.
We offer Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care Insurance Policies with state approved insurance companies.
Click here to see how
much an average premium will be for your age.
Click here to fill out our online form to get a quote from the top long term care insurance companies for Maine Partnership for Long-Term Care.