1. The new buzz about long-term care insurance and various federal and state initiatives. It is estimated that the number of Americans turning 65 years of age or older will double to 98,000,000 by 2050. The statistics indicate more than half of adults 65 and older will require long term care assistance at some point in their lives. The average duration of long-term care is 2 to 2.5 years. Only 10% - 16%of Americans have long-term care insurance. Presently, Medicaid covers approximately 60% of long-term care costs of nursing home residents.
At the federal level, US representative Frank Colón, from New Jersey released a proposal last May to create a Medicare long-term care benefit plan. The proposal would purportedly establish a public benefit within Medicare that is not dependent on income or assets. Illinois NAELA will continue to monitor this proposal.
At the state level, the State of Washington signed into law in May 2019, a new .58% payroll tax to fund a benefit of $36,500 for individuals to pay for home healthcare as well as some other services such as despite care for family members.
The State of Minnesota is considering allowing individuals to convert their life insurance plans to long-term care insurance.
An initiative in the State of Maine to provide free long-term care to residents funded by a 3.8% income tax on residents making more than $108,400 per year was rejected last year.
Illinois is also studying long-term care proposals. Illinois lawmakers have commissioned a study to make a determination as to how many seniors are likely to need long-term care and the tax implications of a state-run long-term care program.
New York lawmakers have debated a graduated income tax to pay for comprehensive long-term care for its citizens. In 2017, Hawaii initiated a program that is publicly funded and provides up to $210 a week for services when family caregivers work outside of the home for at least 30 hours a week.
2. The Illinois Elder Abuse Task Force. Illinois NAELA member and past chapter president Amy Delaney recently provided public testimony on November 15, 2019 at the elder abuse task force meeting in Chicago, Illinois in conjunction with the Illinois Department on Aging. Amy communicated to the task force that Illinois NAELA would be happy to coordinate efforts to carry out the mutual mission of both the Illinois Department on Aging and Illinois NAELA. We thank Amy for taking the time to provide testimony in representing our members and the clients we serve.