Friday, March 28, 2008

PA Joins "Own Your Future" LTCI Campaign

On March 26, 2008, Governor Edward Rendell announced Pennsylvania's version of the "Own Your Future" publicity campaign, which urges "Pennsylvanians to begin planning ahead to better meet their future long-term care needs."

This statewide campaign is tied into the federal government's "Own Your Future" awareness campaign, as conducted by the National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information in a few states since January, 2005.

The Own Your Future Campaign is a collaboration of the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning & Evaluation (ASPE), and the [U. S.] Administration on Aging (AoA), and has support from the National Governors Association (NGA). * * *

The “
Own Your Future” Long-Term Care Awareness Campaign is a joint federal-state initiative to increase awareness among the American public about the importance of planning for future long-term care needs.

As of March 2007, 15 states [
see map] have participated in the Own Your Future Campaign to increase the awareness of the need to plan for future long-term care services.

State efforts include letters to constituents between the ages of 45-70, promotion of the Campaign, including through an initial press conference, and development and dissemination of state based information and resources, such as long-term care websites. Check the activities and resources of individual Campaign States highlighted on the map. * * *
Pennsylvania is not yet marked on that "map", but soon will be, along with Ohio, another state that joined the Campaign in 2008.

The Governor's Press Release is entitled "
Governor Rendell Announces 'Own Your Future" Campaign; Urges Consumers to Better Plan their Long-Term Care Needs".

“Planning for the future is not something that can be put off. If people do fail to prepare, it can carry very difficult and expensive consequences,” Governor Rendell said. “The ‘Own Your Future’ campaign empowers consumers to take steps now that will give them peace of mind and improve their future quality of life.”

Pennsylvania has the third largest percentage of people over age 65, trailing only Florida and West Virginia. By 2020, approximately one in four Pennsylvanians will be age 60 or older.

According to surveys cited by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, many consumers do not realize that standard health insurance, Medicare, and/or disability coverage do not pay for most long-term care services. Medicaid pays for some long-term care services, but only for consumers who qualify because of limited income and financial resources.

As part of Pennsylvania’s Own Your Future outreach effort, 1.7 million state residents ages 45 to 65 are receiving letters this week from Governor Rendell that offer information about planning for the future in areas including finances, legal services, housing, health care and long-term care insurance. * * *

Various resources are posted already on websites of the PA Department of Aging and the PA Department of Insurance.

But, the consumer would be well-served to be inquiring & discerning in consideration of long-term care insurance, as noted in a previous posting, "
PA to Promote Long-Term Care Insurance" (03/12/08).

The promotion of long-term care insurance in Pennsylvania coincides with the roll out, by the PA Insurance Department, of Pennsylvania's version of a Long-Term Care Partnership, authorized by Act 40 of 2007, as described on its web page entitled "Long-Term Care Partnership Policies -- Questions and answers about Pennsylvania's newest option for long-term care insurance", updated on March 26, 2008.

On July 17, 2007, Governor Edward G. Rendell signed Act 40 into law, granting strong consumer protections for purchasers of long-term care insurance and helping to address the growing need for long-term care services.

Act 40 also establishes a “Long-Term Care Partnership”, which offers Pennsylvanians the opportunity to provide for their own needs while helping to conserve taxpayer resources.

The new law protects consumers by requiring that all long-term care insurance policies sold in Pennsylvania provide comprehensive coverage and also gives consumers the ability to exchange existing policies for Partnership Policies. Additionally, the law increases the guaranty fund to protect consumers against loss if an insurance company becomes insolvent. * * *

The Long-Term Care Partnership encourages Pennsylvanians to purchase long-term care insurance by providing asset coverage equal to the benefits paid by the policy. This means dollar-for-dollar asset protection. For example, a person whose qualifying policy paid for $100,000 of care would be entitled to keep $100,000 in assets if they need to apply for Medical Assistance in the future. * * *
For further background about Act 40, see: PA EE&F Law Blog posting "PA's Act 40 of 2007 on Long Term Care Insurance" (07/19/07).

Update: 04/21/08:

Attorney Janet Colliton, of West Chester, PA, addressed PA's "Own Your Future" long-term care insurance promotional campaign in her article published on April 21, 2008, in the Daily Local News (West Chester, PA), entitled "
Pennsylvania tells boomers to own their future". In her article, she mentioned the posting made on this Blog.