Chris Orestis’ career began with senior positions on a number of political campaigns before working in 1993 and 1994 for both the White House and the Senate Majority Leader on Capitol Hill. From that point, he spent the next several years representing the health and life insurance industry as Vice President and Senior Vice President respectively for the Health Insurance Association of America (HIAA) and the American Council of Life Insurers (ACLI).
Chris saw the enormous financial crisis facing our country and families in need of long term care for a loved one from the work he was doing in Washington, DC on health care reform and long term care. He saw how unfair the long term care system had become– particularly for middle class Americans and in 2007, decided to take action by launching Life Care Funding.
The Inspiration Behind Life Care Funding
The vast majority of long term care is paid for by Medicaid and to qualify, the applicant must meet asset and income limits that would put them below the poverty line. A standard practice is to “spend-down” assets to meet these limits, and often times owners of life insurance will lapse or surrender their policy so that it will not either count against them as an asset. Chris knew there was a better option for seniors that own a life policy than just abandoning an asset that they had made payments on for years.
Working with a group of long term care experts, Chris developed a method that would allow policy owners to convert their policy’s death benefit into a “living benefit” so they can remain private pay and choose the form of care that they want. What has become known as a “Long Term Care Benefit Plan” is now an accepted form of payment for Senior Care services with every care provider in the United States. Because the Benefit Plan funds are protects the funds as an irrevocable account only to be used for senior care expenses, it is a tax-free, Medicaid qualified spend-down of an asset that millions of seniors have been abandoning as they move towards long term care.
Recognition and Awards
Chris was awarded the Robert R. Neal Medal by HIAA for distinction and service to the insurance industry. He was named to the Advisory Board of the 3in4 Need More Association in 2012. He contributed to the 2013 Long Term Care Commission report, and has also testified before national political bodies such as the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) and numerous state regulators and legislatures such as Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Maine and Texas.
Chris is the author of the book “Help on the Way” and has been published on insurance and long term care funding issues over 50 times. His blog on senior living and long term care funding issues connects with thousands of readers every month.
Chris contributed to the 2013 Long Term Care Commission report, and has also testified before national political bodies such as the National Conference of Insurance Legislators (NCOIL) and numerous state regulators and legislatures such as Florida, Louisiana, New Jersey, Maine and Texas.