Georgia Long Term Care Insurance Costs & Partnership Information
People with chronic illnesses or disabilities rely on Long Term Care services to be able to perform life's daily activities. Seniors especially may need long term assistance so they could stay at home for as long as possible. The rising need for these services leaves a lot of concerns for many caregiving families across the United States, including the state of Georgia.
In a study made by AARP in 2008 on members aged 50-60 living in Georgia, 7 out of 10 respondents are anticipating they might provide Long Term Care services to a loved one in the next 5 years. The forefront of the concern is whether they could afford these services. The study found out that only 22% could pay for home care services out of pocket, at an annual rate of $18,000, for two years.
Home care services are the preferred choice for many Georgians. However, other care settings such as nursing homes and assisted facilities are as important as HCBS (home and community-based services) when deciding where to receive care. Costs of services vary across the state; services in metro areas being more expensive than the rest of the state. Below are the 2012 median costs of care in key areas of Georgia as compiled by Genworth Financial, a top financial security company:
|Region||Homemaker Services Hourly Rate
|Home Health Aide Hourly Rate
|Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Rest of State||$17||$17||$2,400||$143||$150|
Medicare and health insurance do not cover most of Long Term Care expenses. You or your loved ones might end up using personal savings until you reach the level eligible for Medicaid assistance. Georgia residents who are single must not exceed the asset limit of $2,000 to qualify for the program while couples should have not more than $3,000 in total assets. Families are eventually forced to spend down their life's savings, to cope with the costs of Long Term Care. If an applicant wishes to transfer some of his assets instead of spending down everything, this has to be done five years prior to his application for Medicaid coverage in compliance with the program’s five-year look-back period.
The Georgia Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program
The Georgia Long Term Care Partnership Program is a program between the Georgia Medicaid program and private insurance companies, offering an alternative Long Term Care insurance to residents of Georgia. This public-private partnership, often called "Partnership", allows Georgians retain financial assets beyond the asset limit of Medicaid should they apply for assistance after using up benefits of their insurance policies.
The program is administered by a collaboration of various government agencies, namely the Georgia Department of Community Health, the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Department of Human Resources, Division of Aging Services.
Georgia Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Policies
Partnership policies are the policies offered by Long Term Care insurance companies that satisfy certain requirements of the Partnership program. Policies with Partnership coverage include a Partnership Disclosure Notice and must include the following features:
- Medicaid Asset Protection - Only Partnership policies provide this feature. Under the benefit of the Dollar-for-Dollar Asset Protection, every dollar that the Partnership policy pays out in benefits equals a dollar of assets to be protected. Protected assets are disregarded during the eligibility process when a policyholder applies to the Georgia Medicaid program for assistance. A Partnership qualified policy does not require the insured to exhaust his benefits before he can qualify for asset protection. Likewise, protected assets will also be exempted from Medicaid Estate Recovery.
- Inflation Protection - All Partnership policies must include inflation protection to keep up with the rising cost of Long Term Care. Policies issued to policyholders below age 61 provide compound annual inflation. Policies issued to those who have attained 61 years of age but not attained age 75 at the time of purchase include some level of inflation. Inflation protection may not be required in policies issued to those aged 76.
- Tax Qualified Policy Feature - Partnership policies are considered tax qualified policies. Under federal law, a fraction of the premiums paid for tax-qualified policies may be claimed as a tax deduction.
- State Reciprocity - Partnership benefits may be used in other states. However, not all states participate in a reciprocity agreement. Therefore, it is recommended that you inquire directly with your insurance carrier before moving into another state.
Obtaining a Partnership Policy in Georgia
Partnership policies may be obtained from insurance companies approved by the Georgia Office of Insurance Commissioner. In order to sell and market Partnership policies, agents are required to undergo 8 hours of initial training and 4 hours of further training every two years. To find a Georgia Long Term Care Partnership Certified agent in your area, get a Long Term Care Insurance Quote here.
To know if an insurance company is approved to offer and market Partnership policies, you may visit the website of the Office of Insurance and Safety Fire Conmmissioner at Georgia Department of Insurance. The department's Regulatory Services Division is responsible for licensing insurance companies. Alternatively, you may inquire directly with the insurance company if they offer Partnership policies.
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Georgia Long Term Care Insurance Information References
- Georgia Department of Community Health> Georgia Long Term Care Partnership.
- Georgia Department of Community Health> Long-Term Care Insurance.
- Georgia Department of Community Health> FAQs.
- AARP Member Opinions on Supportive Services in Georgia. 2008. AARP Policy & Research.
- State-Specific Data From The Genworth 2010 Cost of Care Survey.