Oregon’s new Long-term Health Care Partnership Program

Data revealed people 85 years of age or older make up a small but quickly growing group within the total elderly population in Oregon. This year, about 76,000 residents reached age 85. It is expected by 2030, the number of individuals 85 or older will exceed with an increase of almost 60 percent.

This increase in the number of baby boomers in the coming years resulted to the formulation of Oregon’s Long-Term Care Qualified Partnership Program. This is a new type of long-term care policy that lets you protect more of your assets if you require long-term care, run out of money and need to apply for Medicaid.

This has already begun since 2008 however; each of these policies must meet minimum benefit requirements of state and federal governments. Offering inflation protection so that the amount your policy pays increases as the cost of care grows is one amongst the benefits covered.

And, for every dollar that such a policy pays out in benefits, the policy protects that amount for those who eventually require Medicaid assistance in the future.

Oregon’s LTC Partnership Program is a joint program between the State of Oregon and private LTC insurance carriers. It aims to allow policyholders to protect assets if they need to apply with Medicaid after exhausting their insurance benefits. This program is administered by two state agencies: the Oregon Department of Human Services and the Insurance Division under the Oregon Department of Consumer and Business Services.

The program also offers both shared and unlimited plans. Under shared plan, an individual will receive asset protection equal to the amount of benefits he individually receives under his qualified policy.

The individual is protected based on what he uses on a dollar for dollar basis. Also, it is important to note that to purchase a Partnership-eligible shared policy, the age of the youngest insured determines the minimum inflation required for Partnership coverage.

While, under unlimited plan, unlimited policies can still provide value with respect to asset protection. If the daily benefit for an unlimited plan is below the cost of care, some states may allow the Partnership component of the policy to be activated and provide Medicaid asset protection for the difference. This applies to states that offer the Partnership program.

Studies stated Oregon has led the nation in the development of lower cost alternatives to institutional care since 198. Home and community-based alternatives to nursing facility care emphasize independence, dignity and choice. They offer needed care and supports at lower cost than medical models. Though state Medicaid funding in the state for 2005 is almost equally split between nursing facilities, community facilities and home care, more than 80 percent of clients receive services in their own homes or in their communities.