PORTLAND, Maine, June 20, 2013 /PRNewswire/ — Owners of a life insurance policy have the legal right to convert a death benefit into a living benefit to pay for Elder Care services of their choice. New legislation is making sure that they are informed of their rights.
As highlighted in the Wall Street Journal article of June 17th, “States Ease use of Life Policies for Elder Care,” eight states have introduced legislation to give seniors more choices in how they pay for care while saving state budgets millions of dollars. Texas is the first state in the nation to enact this law, giving the state Medicaid department authority to notify and educate all citizens that they have the legal right to convert an in-force life insurance policy into a Life Care Benefit Plan.
Life Care Funding, headquartered in Portland, ME, was the major driver behind the legislation. Its CEO, Chris Orestis, explained the significance of the initiative saying, “Texas is the first state to enact this landmark legislation to stimulate more private pay dollars by encouraging the conversion of a life insurance policy into a private market Life Care Benefit Plan.” But Texas is not the only state to recognize the importance of making sure that the owners of a life insurance policy are informed of their right to convert their policy to fund a customized care plan that has the flexibility to change with the owners’ changing life needs.
Momentum from the Texas bill is now sweeping the country. Bills have also been introduced in California, Florida, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, New York and New Jersey with a number of other states pending for 2013.
“By converting a policy, seniors can privately pay longer and be able to choose the form of care they want. This is a unique financial option for seniors because all health conditions are accepted, and there are no waiting periods, no care limitations, no costs to apply, and there are no premium payments”, said Orestis. Senior Care advisors and attorneys also like the plans because they provide a simple, legal and flexible means of protecting the funds for their intended purpose–meeting the present and future care needs of the owner.
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