Texas created the Long-Term Care Partnership Program as an incentive for Texans to plan for their long-term care needs. The partnership is a joint effort between private insurers and the state. Insurers must follow state and federal guidelines to sell partnership policies.
Partnership policies have an asset disregard benefit that is useful if you deplete your insurance benefits and need to apply for Medicaid. Partnership policies, however, do not guarantee you´ll be accepted into Medicaid. You´ll still have to meet income, medical, and other eligibility criteria.
With the asset disregard benefit, every dollar of long-term care benefits your partnership policy pays will equal one dollar of countable assets that will be disregarded to determine if you´re eligible for Medicaid. This means you can retain assets above the normal limit and you won´t need to "spend down" your assets to qualify for Medicaid. In addition, the assets that were disregarded in the Medicaid eligibility process will not be subject to Medicaid liens and recoveries after you die.
In addition to asset disregard, long-term care partnership policies must also include the following benefits:
Inflation protection. Inflation protection helps your policy continue to pay long-term care benefits as costs rise. Partnership policies provide varying levels of inflation protection based on your age:
Tax qualification. You may be able to deduct part of the premium from your taxes as a medical expense, and policy benefits are generally not taxable as income.
If you´re considering a long-term care policy, ask your insurance company or agent if a partnership policy meets your needs. If you purchased a long-term care policy on or after February 8, 2006, ask your agent about exchanging your policy for a partnership policy. The insurance company is required to certify that each agent who sells partnership policies or certificates complies with the training requirements.
Note: Partnership policies will be accompanies by a disclosure statement identifying the policy as a long-term care partnership policy. Be aware that if you make any changes to your partnership policy, you could lose your partnership policy status. Your agent can tell you what changes will result in a status change.
Don P. Baker Financial Group can help you with all of your insurance needs.