Good morning, ProviderNation.
Women are going to continue to pay a higher share of long term care insurance, according to a new industry report.
The American Association of Long Term Care Insurance says that a 55-year-old single woman can expect to pay about $1,225 per year for insurance, while single men of the same age will pay $925 per year.
“Women accounted for two-thirds of the $6.6 billion in long term care insurance claim benefits paid out,” association Director Jesse Slome says in announcing his group’s findings.
Among other findings, the association also reports that insurers vary widely in what they charge for their plans. Price differences among companies range from 31 percent to 114 percent, the report says.
The disparities are already raising some eyebrows, of course.
“More Americans are realizing that needing long term care is the single greatest threat to their lifestyle and retirement savings,” MasterCare Solutions President Mike Skiense says. “There’s greater interest than ever as more people understand that long term care insurance can be an affordable way to address this very real risk.”
Meanwhile, it looks like the Senate was serious about this whole doc fix thing. The Finance Committee has released its report on its proposal to repeal the sustainable growth rate and replace it with a 10-year plan that has broad support in both houses.
The current system is “fundamentally broken and must be repealed,” the committee says in its 87-page report (which can be found here).
“Congress has spent nearly $150 billion since 2003 on short-term overrides of payment cuts stipulated by the SGR,” the report goes on to say. “These overrides or ‘patches’’ have frustrated providers, threatened access for beneficiaries, and created a budgetary dilemma from which Congress has struggled to emerge.”
No argument here, say docs, long term care providers, patients and just about everyone else. The problem is, the report doesn’t tackle that sticky problem of who’s going to be holding the bag. It doesn’t have a current Congressional Budget Office score of what the repeal would, and instead relies on the most recent CBO score—about $116.5 billion.
Long term care advocates think the doc fix may be the biggest question they’ll face before this year’s elections. Congress has until March 31 to replace the SGR, or else cuts are a-comin’.
So look to see things heat up in Washington as the House takes up the matter.