South Carolina Long Term Care Insurance Information & Statewide Cost Data
Surprisingly, South Carolina ranks 5th place among states across the country with the highest expenses for Medicare Certified home health aide services, amounting to as much as $81 an hour. Rates of nursing homes in the state capital of Columbia have increased steadily by 6% over the last five years. At present, rates of nursing facilities in South Carolina average $71,175 annually. These overwhelming figures were among the data revealed by the latest study conducted by Genworth Financial, one of the country's top insurance carriers of Long Term Care. They also published a statewide survey of current median costs of long term care services in metro areas in South Carolina.
|Region||Homemaker Services Hourly Rate
|Home Health Aide Hourly Rate
|Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Nursing Home Daily Rate
|Greenville - Mauldin - Easley||$17||$17||$3,525||$183||$196|
|Myrtle Beach - North Myrtle Beach -
|Rest of State||$17||$19||$3,088||$172||$178|
Senior South Carolinians or residents who are blind or permanently disabled may apply for Medicaid assistance to help pay for these Long Term Care services. However, the Medicaid program of South Carolina has a monthly income limit of $2,022 for individuals and $2,739 for married couples. The asset limit is set at $2,000 for single people and $3,000 for couples. These financial limits, plus other eligibility requirements must be met in order for Medicaid to provide coverage.
To help the people protect assets and at the same time, encourage them to plan for their future Long Term Care needs, the South Carolina Long Term Care Partnership Program was established. The program became effective on January 1, 2009.
South Carolina Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Program
The Long Term Care Partnership Program in South Carolina is a new program that allows individuals to retain more assets than what Medicaid would normally allow during eligibility process. Therefore, policyholders who have used some or all of their insurance benefits will not be forced to spend down their assets to a level low enough to meet Medicaid's income and asset limit. Assets that are not counted towards Medicaid eligibility equals to the benefits paid by the Partnership policy. These assets likewise may not be claimed later by the state when the policyholder dies.
The Partnership program is participated by private insurers and state agencies, i.e. the South Carolina Department of Insurance and the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services or SCDHHS. The SCDHHS administers the South Carolina Healthy Connections Medicaid – the Medicaid program of South Carolina.
Long Term Care Partnership Policy
All Partnership policies must satisfy certain requirements set forth in the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA):
- Issue Date - The policy must be issued not earlier than January 1, 2009 which is the date when the Partnership program became effective.
- State of Residence - An individual must be a resident of the State of South Carolina when coverage first becomes effective under the policy.
- Inflation Protection - All Partnership policies include inflation protection. Policies sold to individuals under age 61 must provide compound annual inflation protection. Policies issued to individuals who has attained age 61 but has not attained age 76 must provide some level of inflation protection. Policies sold to individuals aged 76 may, but is not required to, provide inflation protection.
- Qualified under Federal tax law - A Partnership policies is a qualified Long Term Care insurance policy as defined in section 7702B(b) of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986.
- Federal consumer protection set forth in section 1917(b)(1)(C)(iii)(III) of the Social Security Act i.e. 42 U.S.C. 1396p(b)(1)(C)(iii)(III) must be met.
All Partnership policies must include a "Partnership Status Disclosure Notice" that indicates the policy is a Partnership policy. The notice also indicates and explains the benefits included in the policy, and the actions that may disqualify the policy as a Partnership policy. It is therefore critical to discuss with your insurance carrier any changes you intend to make in your policy. If you plan to move into another state, inquire also with your insurance carrier if your policy will be recognized in the new state.
The State of South Carolina has entered into the reciprocity agreement between Partnership states in pursuant of Sec 6021(b) of the DRA, so policyholders from the state may obtain asset disregard in another Partnership state that has reciprocity standards should they decide to apply for Medicaid coverage. South Carolina also recognizes the asset disregard feature of Partnership policies that were purchased in other Partnership states. This reciprocity agreement, however, will not affect eligibility requirements for Medicaid under the South Carolina Long Term Care Partnership Program.
Obtaining a Partnership Policy in South Carolina
Partnership policies may be obtained only from insurance producers (agents and brokers) licensed in the state of South Carolina. Agents must complete a one-time training course and a refresher course every two years as legislative regulations result to frequent changes in current policies. Agents who offer and sell Partnership policies must have understanding of the Partnership program of South Carolina.
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South Carolina Long Term Care Insurance Rerefences
- State-Specific Data From The Genworth 2010 Cost of Care Survey.
- Bulletin No. 2009-04. Implementation of the South Carolina Long-Term Care Partnership Program. The South Carolina Department of Insurance.
- Fact Sheet. South Carolina's State Plan Amendment (SPA ) 07-002.
- South Carolina State Plan Amendment. Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services.
- South Carolina Long Term Care Partnership Agent Training Guidelines. 2009. The South Carolina Department of Insurance.