The current debate surrounding MaineCare expansion is in full swing.
Maine is home to more than 200,000 seniors, and many Mainers rely on MaineCare, our state’s version of Medicaid.
As part of the Affordable Care Act, the federal government will pay for MaineCare expansion for the first three years, leaving states responsible starting in year four. But there are alternative ways to realize MaineCare savings.
As baby boomers age, the number who will rely on MaineCare for long-term care will likely increase. A life insurance policy is legally recognized as an asset of the policy owner, and it counts against them when qualifying for MaineCare.
Individuals who need to pay for long-term care usually abandon their policy because they need to show little or no assets to qualify for MaineCare.
What they do not know is that they can convert their policy into a long-term care benefit plan and remain private-pay. Seniors can then choose the form of long-term care they want — home care, assisted living and skilled nursing or memory care.
Political leaders now realize the cost-saving implications by extending the time a person can privately pay before becoming MaineCare-eligible.
In fact, Sen. Margaret Craven introduced legislation in 2013(L.D. 1092) that would empower MaineCare to start informing Mainers of their legal right to make better use of their life insurance asset than just abandoning the policy to spend down to below the poverty level.
We can help seniors, their families and an overextended MaineCare system through this consumer protection initiative.
Converting life insurance to pay for long-term care is a big win for seniors and their families, providers of long-term care services and for taxpayers across Maine.
co-founder and CEO, Life Care Funding
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