Long Term Care

Tennessee Long Term Care Insurance Costs & Partnership Program Information

Genworth Financial released a statewide study on the current cost of Long Term Care in major areas in Tennessee. The hourly rate of a Medicare-certified home health aide increased over a five-year period, where rates went up to 40% to 43% in Johnson City and Knoxville, respectively. Costs in assisted living facilities also had the same trend in the last five years; rates were highest in Memphis, at $47,340 annually. Chattanooga, on the other hand, had the most expensive rates among nursing homes (private bedroom) in Tennessee, at $81,815 annually. Below are the 2012 median costs of Long Term Care, varying by region.

Region Homemaker Services Hourly Rate
(Licensed)
Home Health Aide Hourly Rate
(Medicare Certified)
Assisted Living Facility Monthly Rate
(Private room)
Nursing Home Daily Rate
(Semi-private room)
Nursing Home Daily Rate
(Private room)
Chattanooga $17 $18 $3,000 $192 $224
Clarksville $19 $20 $3,356 $184 $195
Cleveland $18 $18 $3,538 $186 $199
Jackson $16 $16 $3,535 $181 $191
Johnson City $17 $20 $3,571 $175 $183
Kingsport - Bristol $17 $17 $2,638 $173 $189
Knoxville $16 $17 $3,300 $182 $203
Memphis $17 $17 $3,945 $185 $205
Morristown $17 $17 $3,175 $170 $176
Nashville - Davidson - Murfreesboro -
Franklin
$17 $18 $3,103 $186 $203
Rest of State $16 $16 $3,263 $176 $184

If you do not have private insurance to cover your Long Term Care expenses, you may be forced to pay for services out-of-pocket until your assets and resources are at a level that meets Medicaid's financial eligibility requirement. The State Medicaid program requires residents of Tennessee not to exceed the $2,000 resource limit and $2,094 monthly income limit.

The Tennessee Long Term Care Partnership Program

The federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 enabled the State of Tennessee to implement a Long Term Care insurance partnership program. The Tennessee Medicaid State Plan Amendment became effective October 1, 2008 and paved the way for the establishment of a partnership program named as Long Term Care Partnership Program. The program aims to promote sale and marketing of quality insurance plans to the people of Tennessee and encouraging them to plan for their future needs.

The Partnership is made up of Long Term Care insurers and state agencies such as the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, the Tennessee Department of Human Services, and the Bureau of TennCare. TennCare is Tennessee's Medicaid assistance program, while the Department of Human Services handles Medicaid applications and determines if one is eligible to receive TennCare assistance.

In order to participate in the Partnership program, an individual must first purchase a Long Term Care insurance policy that meets the requirements of the Partnership program of Tennessee. These qualified Long Term Care partnership (LTCP) policies allows asset disregard. Every amount the policy pays out in benefits matches an equal amount of the policyholder's assets that is protected from being spent down if he decides to apply for assistance through TennCare. Therefore, policyholders may retain assets beyond the asset limit set by TennCare and would still qualify for assistance, after using some or exhausting all of the insurance benefits, provided all other requirements are satisfied during the eligibility process. Assets designated for disregard equals the amount paid out by the Partnership policy as of the date of the application to TennCare. Transferring of assets designated for disregard may also be done without penalty. These assets are likewise protected from Medicaid estate recovery, after the policyholder is deceased.

Long Term Care Partnership Policy Features

Long Term Care insurance policies must include the following features to be considered as a Partnership policy:

All Partnership policies include a Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Disclosure Notice, indicating that the policy is a Qualified State Long Term Care Insurance Partnership Policy, and outlines the benefits under the policy.

Insurance policies issued on or after February 8, 2006 and met all requirements of a Partnership policy may be exchanged to a Partnership policy on or after October 1, 2008. You must directly contact your insurer for more information.

Obtaining a Partnership Policy in Tennessee

The Long Term Care Partnership program is open to all residents of Tennessee. By participating in the program, an individual may apply to TennCare after exhausting the benefits of his qualified Partnership policy, or when the policyholder (or spouse/family/friend) believes he can no longer afford his Long Term Care needs. Inquire from insurance producers who completed training approved by the Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance. Agents must be licensed and undergo training on TennCare eligibility as it relates to the Long Term Care Partnership program in Tennessee.

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