CHA Testifies on Long-Term Care Insurance Consumer Protections at Senate Hearing

CHA Testifies on Long-Term Care Insurance Consumer Protections at Senate Hearing

On June 3, 2009, Bonnie Burns, Training and Policy Specialist, testified on the need for greater consumer protections, standardization of policies and regulation of long-term care (LTC) insurance products and marketing practices. Her written testimony also includes a detailed discussion on Partnership policies and the unique situation and precautions needed in regulating and marketing a state-endorsed product. Client case studies and highlights on rate increases from 2 major players in the LTC insurance industry, Conseco and Penn Treaty Network America, are discussed as well.

Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI) chaired this hearing entitled “Boon or Bane: Examining the Value of Long-Term Care Insurance.” Policymakers are investigating the role LTC insurance could play in financing our country’s growing LTC needs, as the strain of the recession affects both consumer and government budgets, and the gap between the long-term care services people require and the public and private programs to cover those services is growing wider. According to Burns’ and other advocates’ testimonies, whether long-term care insurance products can effectively provide for these growing LTC needs depends on:

  • The quality and dependability of the products;
  • Their regulatory oversight;
  • Whether people can buy and keep these policies until they are needed; and
  • Whether people are able to collect benefits later based on the promises they purchased.

About 6 million people currently have LTC insurance.

The 4 other people who testified in this hearing were: Diane Rowland, Executive Vice President, Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation; Sean Dilweg, Insurance Commissioner, Wisconsin Department of Insurance; Carol Cutter, Chief Deputy Commissioner, Indiana Department of Insurance; and Thomas Stinson, President, Genworth Long-Term Care.

For more information on long-term care (LTC) and LTC insurance, see the LTC section of our website.

Our blogger Karen J. Fletcher is CHA's publications consultant. She provides technical expertise, writing and research on Medicare, health disparities and other health care issues. With a Masters in Public Health from UC Berkeley, she serves in health advocacy as a trainer and consultant. See her current articles.