Oklahoma Long Term Care Insurance Information & Statewide Cost Data
Oklahoma ranks sixth among the top 10 states that have the most choices, including the most affordable options, for nursing home services in the United States. This is according to Genworth Financial's Choice and Affordability Index. Furthering the study on the trends of Long Term Care in the country, Genworth Financial conducted a survey of current care costs in leading areas in Oklahoma.
Hourly rates of Medicare-certified home health aides have increased in the last five years; caregiving families now spend an average of $ 89,378 annually for home health services. Costs of nursing home services in Oklahoma have likewise been increasing steadily over a five year period. Rates for a private room in nursing facilities were highest in Oklahoma City. The rest of the state is not far behind; rates have been rising by 6% annually over the last five years. Below is the median data from Genworth's 2012 report.
|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||$18||$18||$2,520||$131||$143|
Most residents believe that these Long Term Care needs will be covered by Medicare and Medicaid. These publicly funded programs may pay some of the expenditures and leave the bulk of the expenses on the shoulders of Oklahomans and their caregiving families. If you were not able to purchase a private insurance plan, you may be forced to pay for your own costs until your assets and resources are at a level allowed by the State Medicaid program, i.e. SoonerCare when you decide to apply for assistance. The State of Oklahoma also has strict requirements on transfer of assets and may impose a penalty period.
Thus, it is critical to begin planning today to assure your future and your family's tomorrow, as well. Long Term Care costs are rising and an affordable way to be on top of the situation is by considering a Long Term Care partnership insurance plan.
Oklahoma Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program
The Oklahoma Long-Term Care Partnership is the collaboration between the State of Oklahoma and the private insurance industry to meet the Long Term Care needs of the people, while aiming to alleviate the financial impact of care costs on residents and caregiving families. The Oklahoma Health Care Authority, the Oklahoma Insurance Department and insurance companies worked together to create the Program that offers benefit options such as asset disregard and inflation protection.
The asset disregard allows the policyholder to retain assets during the Medicaid eligibility process should he apply for Medicaid assistance after exhausting all the benefits of his Partnership policy. Therefore, Oklahomans may not be forced to spend down their assets and lifetime's savings to meet SoonerCare's (Oklahoma Medicaid) asset limit. Assets are protected and thus offering Oklahomans peace of mind and security.
The amount of assets that will not be counted towards SoonerCare eligibility equals the dollar amount of insurance benefits received from the Partnership policy. This dollar-for-dollar asset protection is a unique feature of the Partnership program. For example, a $50,000 Partnership policy will entitle the policyholder to retain $50,000 worth of assets beyond the asset limit of SoonerCare, if he applies for assistance for his continued Long Term Care after depleting his policy benefits.
Long Term Care Partnership Policy
Aside from the hallmark feature of Medicaid Asset Protection, Partnership policies include the following features:
- Issue date should not be earlier than July 1, 2008
- Inflation protection minimums - A 3% minimum inflation benefit (compound or linked to consumer price index) included in policies issued to policyholders aged 60 or below while 3% inflation benefit (simple or linked to CPI) for those aged 61 to 75. Inflation benefit is optional to Oklahomans aged 76 and above.
- Policyholder must be a resident of Oklahoma when coverage became effective.
- Tax-qualified in accordance with section 7702B(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986
- Private insurance policies purchased on or after February 8, 2006 may be exchanged to Partnership policies. You can contact your insurance carrier or agency for more information.
- Reciprocity agreement, wherein policyholders are allowed to claim Medicaid Asset Protection benefits in a state other than where the Partnership policy was obtained.
All Partnership policies include a Partnership Disclosure Notice (Appendix II), indicating that the policy is a Qualified State Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Policy, and outlines the benefits under the policy. Purchasing a Partnership policy does not automatically qualify the policyholder for SoonerCare.
Non-partnership insurance policies may be exchanged to a Partnership policy. You must directly contact your insurer for more information. Your insurer must make an offer to replace an existing insurance plan with a policy qualifying as a Partnership plan.
Obtaining a Partnership Policy in Oklahoma
Partnership LTC insurance is open to all residents of Oklahoma but all applications are subject to underwriting approval from the insurance carrier. You may apply at any time; however, the earlier one applies, the higher the chances of getting approved. An insurance agent that specializes in Long Term Care insurance can help you find the best policy for your age, health and financial goals. If one of your long term goals is to leave inheritance to your children and grandchildren, then a Partnership policy may be for you.
A qualified Partnership policy may be purchased from a licensed insurance agent. Participating insurance companies in Oklahoma are listed below:
- American General Life Insurance Co
- Assurity Life Insurance Co
- Bankers Life and Casualty Co
- Genworth Life Insurance Company
- Great American Life Insurance Co
- John Hancock Life Insurance Co
- LifeSecure Insurance Co
- Massachusetts Mutual Life Insurance Co
- Minnesota Life Insurance Co
- Mutual of Omaha Insurance Co
- Northwestern Long-Term Care Insurance Co
- Penn Treaty Network America Insurance Co
- State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co
- Transamerica Life Insurance Company
- United HealthCare Insurance Co
- United of Omaha Life Insurance Co
- Unum Life Insurance Company of America
For further information, you may contact your local county department of job and family services or local department agency on aging.
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