Connecticut Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Information & Costs
Finding ways to pull down the cost of care in Connecticut is a waste of time simply because this is impossible. What is possible, though, is working out a plan for your personal long term care needs to avoid using up your assets on the state's expensive long term care services.
According to a study, the cost of care in Connecticut has outpaced the national average. This is especially true in the case of nursing homes and community-based long term care facilities, like assisted living, as their rates are climbing at an unbelievable speed. The daily cost of a private nursing home room nationally is $222 but in Connecticut it is a whopping $400.
The monthly cost of an assisted living facility on the national level is $3,300 while in Connecticut it's $4,475. You need two things to survive the cost of care in this state – confidence and a tried and tested long term care plan.
Experts say long term care costs in Connecticut will continue to increase in the succeeding years. Genworth, one of the participating insurance companies in the State Partnership for Long Term Care Program, conducted a study of the current median costs of care in Connecticut and revealed the following information:
|Region||Homemaker Services Hourly Rate
|Home Health Aide Hourly Rate
|Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|New Haven - Milford||$20||$22||$4,800||$375||$416|
|Rest of State||$17||$18||$2,975||$348||$376|
According to the study, the average cost for a private nursing home room in Connecticut is the highest in the continental US, totaling $137,058 per annum. On the other hand, the hourly cost of a Medicare licensed home health aide was actually below the national average.
Given these costs, many people are turning to Long Term Care insurance to finance their potential LTC expenses. While it is true that you can apply for Medicaid for continued medical you must be at an impoverished level to be eligible. In the State of Connecticut, you must have no more than $1,600 in assets to be eligible for Medicaid.
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Connecticut residents can compare the top providers of long term care insurance in the state to get the best price.
Medicaid spending for the fiscal year 2010 has amounted to more than $5.7 billion in Connecticut. More than $2 billion or 49.9% of this expenditure can be attributed to long term care. Nursing homes received the biggest share at 44.7% followed by home and personal care costs with a total allotment of 43%.
The largest portion of Medicaid spending went to seniors and the disabled. Disability rates in seniors increased by 35%, according to a study done by the US Census Bureau. This increasing trend plus longer life expectancy all contribute to the growing demand for care which must be met accordingly by the State.
A Needs Assessment was carried out by The University of Connecticut Health Center in 2007 to provide a general overview of the existing Long Term Care system in Connecticut. Thirty-six percent of the respondents in the survey revealed that their Long Term Care needs are not being met. Forty-four percent of them could not afford these services while 32% are not aware of the available services.
Connecticut Long Term Care Partnership Program
The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care is the result of the unity of the State of Connecticut and private insurance companies to provide high-quality Long Term Care insurance to the people of Connecticut without being impoverished. Under this Partnership program, people of Connecticut who need Long Term Care may be able to purchase special Long Term Care insurance policies that allow protecting assets equal to what the insurance policy pays in benefits. This special feature is called Medicaid Asset Protection. The assets you chose to "protect" will be ignored when you apply to the State's Medicaid program to cover for your continued Long Term Care needs. Therefore, you can purchase an insurance policy with an amount equal to the amount of assets you want to protect.
The State of Connecticut was approved by the US government on March 27, 2009 to join the National Reciprocity Compact for the granting of Medicaid Asset Protection for states with Long Term Care Partnership programs. Although recently approved, ALL Partnership policies are covered under this Reciprocity Compact regardless of the date when the Partnership policy was purchased.
Approved policyholders who move into another state are eligible to receive a dollar-for-dollar Medicaid Asset Protection as they would when they qualified for the Medicaid assistance program, because of a reciprocity agreement. However, two conditions must be fulfilled:
1. The policyholder must apply to Medicaid of the state where he/she is relocating and then qualify under the state's Medicaid program AND 2. The State of Connecticut must have an existing reciprocity agreement with the other state, at the time the application has been made.
Long Term Care Partnership Policy
Partnership policies under the program offer Medicaid Asset Protection for assistance after using up Long Term Care benefits provided by private insurance companies. Here is how this feature works.
Once your private insurance company starts covering expenses, the company will provide you an Asset Protection Report. This is a quarterly report of the benefits you received and the corresponding Medicaid Asset Protection earned to date. Therefore, Medicaid Asset Protection is earned when the benefits of a Partnership policy is used. A Service Summary Report may then be sent by the insurance company after all benefits are paid out.
If you still need Long Term Care, you may apply for Medicaid assistance at the Department of Social Services. The assets and resources you have equal to the amount the Partnership policy has paid in benefits will be ignored when your eligibility for the Medicaid program is determined. However, you must still meet other eligibility guidelines in order to qualify. Aside from the hallmark feature of Medicaid Asset Protection, other unique features of Partnership policies include:
- A minimum of 5% discount on the rate of nursing facilities is also provided to every policyholder of an approved Partnership policy. The current daily rate of nursing facilities in Connecticut is $327 for a semi-private room. This becomes $311 after the discount mandated by the Connecticut State law.
- Partnership policies require that benefits increase automatically each year on a compounded basis. If you are under age 65, all benefits (daily/weekly/monthly or lifetime) automatically increase on a compounded basis annually while people age 65 and above have the option to inflate only their daily/weekly or monthly benefits.
- All home care benefits in Partnership policies have case management services. This service aims to assess and monitor assistance received from formal care (e.g. home health aides) and informal care providers (e.g members of caregiving families) so that the greatest level of independence is met. It also known as Care Coordination.
Types of Partnership Policies in Connecticut
Private insurance companies offer a variety of plans to choose from. Some policies only pay for care provided in a facility - nursing or assisted residential facilities. Some offer a more comprehensive coverage, wherein there is a comprehensive pool of dollars or fund which can be used to pay for care in the home and community, not just nursing and assisted facilities. Partnership policies include inflation protection. It is advised that you purchase a policy when you are still young when the premiums are lower and you have a better chance of being approved. Therefore, by the time you use your policy, costs of care have significantly changed. Inflation protection protects your policy against inflation.
For queries, residents of Connecticut may approach the state's Department of Public Health, Aging and Disability Resource Centers, and other government and private organizations that aim to further improve the state's long term care system.
Obtaining a Partnership Policy
You must be a resident of the State of Connecticut to apply for a Partnership policy. State of Connecticut requires that private insurance companies must undergo a special training. Therefore, transact only with insurance agents who meet the requirements set by the Partnership program. Discuss with agents and consultants to create a policy plan according to your needs or type of services you want covered, and your ability to pay.
Below is a list of Long Term Care insurance companies approved by the Partnership program:
- Bankers Life and Casualty
- CUNA Mutual
- Genworth Life
- Great American Life
- John Hancock
- State Farm
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Connecticut Long Term Care References
- General Information. The Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care. 2009. CT.gov.
- Connecticut Long-term Care Needs Assessment Executive Summary. June 2007. University of Connecticut Health Center.
- State-Specific Data From The Genworth 2010 Cost of Care Survey.
- Connecticut. State Medicaid Fact Sheets.
- Private Pay Long-term Care Rates. 2009. CT.gov.
- Before You Buy. The Connecticut Partnership for Long Term Care. 2008.
- Paying for Your Needs. Long Term Care Services and Supports. CTgov.
- Planning Today For a Secure Tomorrow. 2009. Office of Policy and Management. CT.gov.
- Medicaid Asset Protection: Reciprocity With Other States. 2009. Office of Policy and Management. CT.gov.