Most people do not like to think about the possibility of needing long-term care.  But as we get older, the likelihood that we will need some kind of assistance is very real.  In fact, recent studies show 70%[i] of those who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long term care.  Long-term care partnership programs were created as a public-private partnership allowing you to pay for long-term care through private insurance and Medicaid, without using all of your assets.

Partnership policies offer people a smart way to plan for future care costs, while also protecting their hard-earned assets.  Today, Medicaid is the largest payer of professional long-term care.  In order to qualify, Medicaid requires that a married couple exhaust their countable assets to approximately $110,000 ($2000 for a single person, also may vary by state).  The most unique aspect of a partnership policy is the Medicaid asset protection.  This feature provides dollar-for-dollar asset protection.  Each dollar that your partnership policy pays out in benefits entitles you to keep a dollar of your assets if you ever need to apply for Medicaid long term care services.  Protected assets are not considered in determining Medicaid eligibility nor are they subject to Medicaid estate recovery laws.  For example, if your partnership policy paid $500,000 in benefits, Medicaid would allow you to keep $500,000 in assets and still qualify for Medicaid assistance.  The amount of assets you are able to protect under the partnership is in addition to the $2000 (individual) or $110,000 (couple) Medicaid allows you to keep.

There are currently 40 states with partnership programs and most of the states have reciprocity among those states.  Partnership programs help both individuals and the state.  For individuals, it allows them to get and pay for services they need without having to spend all of their assets.  For the state, it can decrease the amount of Medicaid dollars used for long-term care services.   Partnership policies must meet state and federal requirements.  They are only marketed by licensed insurance professionals who have completed the partnership training course.

If you would like more information on long-term care partnership programs or long term care insurance in general, please contact our office .

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[i] Medicare & You, National Medicare Handbook, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, Revised November 2012

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