Sunday, January 21, 2007

HHS Launches New Website Promoting Long Term Care Planning

Essential Planning Tool to Help Americans Own Their Own Future

HHS’ Assistant Secretary for Aging Josefina G. Carbonell announced a new Web site that will make it easier for consumers to get the information they need to plan for long-term care. The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site provides comprehensive information about long-term care planning, services and financing options, along with tools to help people begin the planning process.

The clearinghouse Web site is designed to increase public awareness about the risks and costs of long-term care and the potential need for services, and to provide objective information to help people plan for the future. The clearinghouse Web site was designed by HHS’ Administration on Aging (AoA), Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE).

"The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site is an important step toward giving consumers the tools they need to take personal responsibility for planning for their future long-term care needs," HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said.

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 new OAA helps empower individuals and supports better planning, improved home and community-based long-term care options, and more flexible and consumer-friendly systems that allow Americans to remain vibrant and independent," Assistant Secretary Carbonell said.
The new Web site also supports the "Own Your Future" education campaign, a joint federal-state initiative designed to increase consumer awareness about planning for long-term care. HHS recently announced new federal-state partnerships with several states designed to help Americans take an active role in planning ahead for their future long-term care needs.

"The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information Web site is an essential component of the ‘Own Your Future’ campaign," CMS Acting Administrator Leslie V. Norwalk said. "Users can 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, please visit

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Saturday, January 13, 2007

The High Cost Of Long Term Care

Have you ever really thought about just how expensive long term care services really are?

If you haven't then you may be surprised that a recent study by New York Life Insurance Company shows that the average daily cost of long term care is $204, or $74,445 Per Year For Private Room!!!

The study, which you can see here, also states:

*Costs for both private and semi-private care were 6% higher than in 2005

*Top Five U.S. Regions with Greatest Cost for Private Nursing Home Care in 2006

Alaska - $388 per day

Connecticut – $366 per day

Connecticut -$323 per day

New York – $311 per day

New York – $311 per day

The 2006 study goes on to say "Many people assume Medicare will pay for these nursing home residences, but the truth is that the portion Medicare covers is quite narrow and costs are rapidly rising in most U.S. regions"

These issues will continue to compound themselves as advances in medical technology, medications, and improved medical procedures help people to live longer lives. It is vital the people educate themselves about the cost of long term care.

Long term care will most likely not get any cheaper. It is more reasonable to assume that these services will rise in costs due to the nursing shortages that we are experiencing now. Tnursingrisng shortages are only expected to get worse because baby boomers make up a large portion of the current nursing population.

It is a very good idea to consider insurance to help you cover these costs, because as things are currently, Medicare only covers some of the costs of long term care services and only pays for a portion of those covered services.

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Thursday, January 04, 2007

Do you know why LTC insurance is important?

I found a great article that summarizes what I have been trying to say on this blog for the past few months. It indicates that many people simply do not grasp the importance and expense of long term care insurance.

The article goes on to say that staying in a nursing home or long term care facility costs more than staying at an expensive hotel!!!

The article also reflects five of the most common misconceptions that people have about how their long term care needs will be paid for.

You can read the whole article here or by visiting the main site at