STATE OF NEW YORK

EXECUTIVE CHAMBER

GEORGE E. PATAKI, GOVERNOR


Press Office
518-474-8418
212-681-4640
http://www.state.ny.us

FOR RELEASE:
IMMEDIATE, Thursday
May 11,  2006

GOVERNOR PATAKI LAUNCHES COMPREHENSIVE STATEWIDE LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE EDUCATION AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGN
Provides Options for New Yorkers to Strengthen Families’ Financial Security

        Governor George E. Pataki today unveiled a comprehensive statewide Long-Term Care Insurance Education and Awareness campaign, which will provide options for New York families to strengthen their financial security. The education and awareness campaign will also provide New Yorkers with a wide array of options if they decide to purchase this insurance. Currently there are 18 insurance companies that offer long-term care insurance policies in New York State.

        New York’s campaign includes a dedicated web site: www.planaheadny.com and a new long-term care insurance helpline at: 1-886-950-PLAN; as well as television, radio and print advertisements; direct mailings to the public; and county Long-Term Care Insurance Resource Centers.

        "As the population ages across the country, it is important for New Yorkers to plan for their future long-term care needs now and this includes possibly investing in long-term care insurance to protect themselves and their families," Governor Pataki said. "Securing this type of insurance allows New Yorkers to prepare for future needs and maintain control of their family’s finances well into the future. This public awareness campaign is designed to help all New Yorkers think about their future and the future of loved ones, and most importantly, provide them with a wide array of options as they make crucial decisions about their future."

        Long-term care services may include the medical, social, housekeeping, or rehabilitation services a person needs over months or years in order to improve or maintain his or her health and a level of personal independence. Such services are provided not only in nursing homes, but also in people’s residential homes or apartments, as well as assisted living facilities.

        The cost of the premiums will be based on age, coverage, and type of asset protection selected. For example, a Partnership policy with total asset protection and a minimum daily benefit of $180 for nursing home care and $90 for home care per day would have an average monthly premium of approximately $107 for a person 50 years of age. The Partnership premium for the same plan would increase with a person’s age. In comparison, the monthly Partnership premium for a person 65 years of age would be $216. These premium rates are for a policy that covers a minimum duration of three years of nursing home care or six years of home care.

        Individuals can better prepare financially by investing in long-term care insurance to offset the cost of their future long-term care needs. To offer perspective, the latest data show that the average annual cost for nursing home care is approximately $90,000 for each resident. Based on this cost figure, the State is encouraging all New Yorkers with moderate household incomes of $50,000 or more to consider purchasing long-term care insurance as part of their financial planning.

        It is important to note that other long-term care insurance policies sold in New York, with benefits different than the Partnership, may be available at lower cost. In addition, new Partnership dollar-for-dollar policies are offered at more affordable premiums than total asset protection policies.

        New York State Office for the Aging Director Neal E. Lane said, "Long-term care insurance is a vital component of financial planning that all New Yorkers should consider. The Long-Term Care Insurance Resource Centers are there to help those who are interested in learning more about the benefits and their planning options."

        State Health Commissioner Antonia C. Novello, M.D., M.P.H., Dr.P.H., said, "Investing for retirement and long-term care are two very different, but important decisions everyone must make. The earlier people start planning for their long-term care needs the better off they will be in the future. The best approach is to seek the insurance at a young age when one’s overall health is good."

        Superintendent of Insurance Howard Mills said, "New Yorkers should consider the purchase of long-term care insurance because neither Medicare nor private health insurance plans are aimed at financing the substantial costs incurred when individuals move into a nursing home or assisted living facility. This education and awareness campaign will help increase the public’s knowledge of the benefits of long-term care insurance and is a welcomed State initiative."

        New Yorkers may choose to purchase New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care (NYSPLTC) insurance or a traditional, non-partnership policy offered by insurance companies.

        The New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care initiative is a unique program that links private long-term care insurance with Medicaid Extended Coverage to provide lifetime long-term care coverage to Partnership policyholders while also creating Medicaid asset protections. There are two types of Medicaid asset protections offered under the Partnership program, including:

        To help make it more affordable, the annual amount of premiums paid for long-term care insurance policies can be used for a 20-percent tax credit on New York State income-tax returns.

        Andrew S. Eristoff, Commissioner of the State Department of Taxation and Finance, said "The Tax Department is proud to offer its support and join this multi-agency effort to heighten awareness among state residents to the benefits of long-term care insurance coverage through its centralized helpline."

        The New York State Insurance Department can also help answer questions and concerns about long-term care insurance. The public can contact the State Insurance Department’s helpline at 1-800-342-3736 to file a complaint about an insurance company and learn more about their rights and protections as a consumer.

        To learn more about the State’s Partnership for Long-Term Care policies, as well as other long-term care insurance policies available in New York, please visit www.planaheadny.com, or contact the New York State Long-Term Care Insurance Helpline at 1-886-950-PLAN. You may also access information on the State Health Department’s web site at www.nyhealth.gov.

        The following insurance companies offer policies on the New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care (NYSPLTC) – which is a state-sponsored policy for long-term care insurance:

        Individual Policies (for the public)

        Group Policies (offered by certain employers or associations)

        Insurance companies offering other long-term care insurance policies in New York State in addition to, or separate from, the NYSPLTC plan:

        Individual Policies (for the public)

        Group Policies (offered by certain employers or associations)


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