Saturday, December 16, 2006

New HHS Website on Long-Term Care

The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced on Friday, December 15, 2006, a new website to provide information & resources about consumers' long-term care (LTC) needs. The new site is found here.

On its home page, the site introduces the subject matter -- individual long-term care services:

While no one likes to think about a time when they might need long-term care services such as help with basic daily activities like bathing, dressing or using the bathroom independently, about 60 percent of people over age 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives. Planning is essential for you to be prepared.

This site provides a wide range of information and options to help you plan for future long-term care needs, but it can't tell you which ones will work best for you. Everyone's situation is different. Carefully review these options and your unique situation before making your planning decisions.

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information is primarily intended as an information and planning resource for individuals who don't yet require long-term care, but it includes information on services and financing options that can be helpful to all individuals.

The topics on the website are organized in this fashion:


Understanding LTC
Definitions & Risks
Services & Providers
Costs & Paying

Planning for LTC
Importance of Planning
Planning Steps
Planning Information & Resources

Paying for LTC
Public Programs
Private Financing
Evaluating Your Options
Long-Term Care Insurance
Other Insurance
Reverse Mortgages
Other Options
Unveiling of the new website was announced in a Press Release on December 15, 2006, entitled "HHS Launches New Web Site Promoting Long-Term Care Planning Launched", found here.

The Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 mandates that the Clearinghouse contain the following: objective information to help consumers decide whether to purchase long-term care insurance or to pursue other private market alternatives that pay for long-term care; information about states with long-term care partnerships under Medicaid; and information about the availability and limitations of coverage for long-term care under Medicaid.

The Web site features a number of resources to help individuals start the planning process, including interactive tools such as a savings calculator, contact information for a range of programs and services, and real-life examples of how individuals have planned successfully.

The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site helps support the principles of the "Choices for Independence Initiative," included in the recently reauthorized Older Americans Act (OAA), signed into law by President Bush in October.

The website references the already-available publication, "Own Your Future", which is also the name of a full-blown HHS informational campaign that has involved some -- but not all -- of the states. It seeks for users to "easily find information about services, resources and finances to help them plan for future long-term care needs."

For more information about the "Own Your Future" campaign and the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information, visit

Is Pennsylvania one of those previously -- or presently -- involved states? I'll respond to that another day.