Questions About the Partnership and Partnership Policies
- What is the Georgia Long-term Care Partnership Program?
The Georgia Long-Term Care (LTC) Partnership Program, administered by the Department of Community Health in collaboration with the Office of the Commissioner of Insurance and the Department of Human Resources Division of Aging Services, provides an alternative to spending down or transferring assets by forming a partnership between Medicaid and private long-term care insurers.
- What is the advantage of a Partnership Policy over a non-Partnership Policy?
Partnership and non-Partnership policies are virtually the same except that Partnership Policies have the added benefit of the Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection. This benefit allows policyholders to protect a portion of their assets if they choose to apply for Medicaid. Agents who wish to sell Partnership Policies are required to attend ongoing certification training on the Partnership; it is not required of those who sell only non-Partnership policies.
- How will the Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection amount be determined?
Asset protection is based on what the insurance company has paid out in benefits. It is NOT based on the insurance premiums paid or the value of the policy.
- How will owners of Partnership Policies and their family members know that a policy qualifies as a Partnership Policy?
When the policy is issued, it will include a Partnership Disclosure Notice stating that it is a qualified Georgia LTC Insurance Partnership Policy. If there is any doubt, call your insurance agent or insurance carrier.
- Will my Georgia Partnership Policy qualify me for Dollar-For-Dollar Asset Protection in other states?
Yes. Georgia participates in a national reciprocity agreement. However, it is likely that not all states will participate in this program. Check with your insurance carrier or an insurance agent in the state in which you will be transferring.
- Which insurance carriers offer Partnership Policies?
Georgia Partnership Policies are only sold by certain insurance companies. These companies are listed on the Georgia Office of Insurance Commissioner.The State of Georgia does not endorse any specific insurance product or insurer.
- Will my current LTC policy convert to a Partnership Policy?
No. Contact an insurance agent to purchase a Partnership Policy.
- If I have an illness, can I still qualify for a Partnership Policy?
Insurance companies who sell LTC insurance use medical underwriting to determine if you qualify for a policy. Medical underwriting is when an insurance company reviews a number of factors including your health and health history and determines if they will provide LTC coverage. Insurance companies are not required to sell you a LTC insurance policy if you do not meet their underwriting standards.
- Who can purchase a Partnership Policy?
Any Georgia resident can apply for a Partnership Policy. The ideal applicant is generally healthy, meets the insurance company's issue age limit, and is able to afford the cost of the insurance.
Questions About the Long Term Care Insurance
- Who is at risk for needing long-term care?
Everyone is potentially at risk. A national study found that almost 70% of people turning 65 will need some long-term care. Women are at a higher risk than men with 79% of women turning 65 needing some long-term care, and 58% of men turning 65 needing some long-term care. Among those turning 65, over half will need long-term care for at least one year, and 20% will need more than five years of care. Thirty-one percent of Americans will not need long-term care in their lifetime.
Source: "Americans Fail to Act on Long Term Care Protection," American Society on Aging, May 2003.
- Will my health insurance cover me for long-term care?
Probably not. Long-term care is not typically covered by traditional health insurance, disability insurance plans, Medicare, and Medicare supplemental insurance (Medigap).
- Where is the care provided?
Long-term care can be provided in a variety of places including: a person's home; a nursing facility; through community-based services (i.e., Adult Day Care), and in a variety of assisted-living settings (i.e., Continuing Care Retirement Communities, Residential Care Homes, and Assisted Living Facilities).
- What are the connections between LTC insurance and the tax laws?
There are some tax-deductible long-term care expenses. The premiums charged for tax-qualified LTC insurance policies are treated as medical expenses under Federal tax law. Check with a tax advisor about the tax implications for your long-term care expenses. Check with your insurance agent to see if your policy is a tax-qualified policy.
- Who can I speak with to discuss my LTC insurance needs?
There are several resources for you:
- Contact an insurance agent or advisor. Ask if the company he or she represents offers a Georgia LTC Partnership Policy if you are interested in its benefits.
- Contact the Georgia Insurance Counseling and Assistance Program by calling the GeorgiaCares at 1-800-669-8387.
- Who should I contact if I have a concern or a complaint about an insurance agent, broker, or carrier?
Contact the Georgia Office of Insurance Commissioner.
Questions About Georgia Medicaid
- When should Partnership Policyholders apply for Medicaid?
Apply for Medicaid when the policyholder is having a difficult time paying for care or when the Partnership Policyholder exhausts the benefits of his or her Partnership Policy. However, policy exhaustion is NOT required to apply for Medicaid in Georgia. Remember, everyone has the right to apply for Medicaid at anytime.
- If I exhaust my Partnership Policy, will I automatically qualify for Medicaid?
No. You must still apply for Medicaid and meet the eligibility requirements.
- If I think I am eligible for Medicaid, should I cancel other health insurance I might already have?
No. Medicaid does not require or recommend that you cancel your other health insurance.