The majority of residents of Massachusetts think that health care costs are cumbersome, especially those below the poverty line, that affect their welfare and their ability to secure safe retirement years. This is a major concern that the state must address so the residents can cope with the debilitating costs of health care. According to the Genworth Financial, a global insurance carrier, long term care costs have increased in the past five years throughout all states in America.
Massachusetts long term care costs are escalating over the years, but the miserable fact is that most residents have no enough retirement savings to avail those needs. Only 25 percent of baby boomers in Massachusetts are prepared for their retirement, and the rest rely either on traditional home care or Medicaid assistance program. The majority of residents depend on state funded programs such as Medicaid to support themselves and their families. In 2000, one in every five adults age 65 and above relied on Social Security for help. Had not been for the Social Security, there would have been almost 47 percent of senior level living below the poverty from 2000 to 2002. This led to the serious dependence on public funding for long term care needs.
The sales of long term care insurance policies have increased over the years; however, a lot of people are still relying on public financial assistance program. With this in mind, the Massachusetts Senate and House of Representative duly signed an agreement in January 2007 for the institution of long term care insurance partnership program. Under this legislation, a State Plan Amendment shall be submitted to Health and Human Services (HHS) to follow the provisions of the Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 and the Massachusetts’s Long-Term Care Insurance Regulations, 211 Code of Massachusetts Regulations 65.00.
Massachusetts Long Term Care Partnership
The Massachusetts Long Term Care Partnership is a partnership program between the State of Massachusetts and private insurance companies. The program allows asset disregard when determining the financial eligibility for Medicaid. Normally, Medicaid requires people to have the maximum assets of $2000 to receive assistance, but with asset disregard feature you may qualify for Medicaid regardless of the asset limit. The amount of assets from benefits received is equivalent to the value of assets you wish to protect.
Another feature of the partnership policy is the tax deduction. Individuals who purchase partnership policies may file for deduction in their income tax, that is about 50% of the annual premiums, but maximum of $3,000 annually. Married couples may avail the tax exemption of 50% of the annual premiums, but should not exceed $3,000 per year.
Aside from the above mentioned features, the inflation protection is another distinctive feature of a partnership policy. The inflation protection covers the policyholder against the whopping costs of long term care services every year. However, the protection varies on the policyholder’s age when the policy was purchased.