P.O. Box 12068, State Capitol
Austin, Texas 78711
Tel. (512) 463-0112
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 15, 2007
AUSTIN -- The Texas House of Representatives today approved on third reading SB 22 by State Senator Jane Nelson, R-Lewisville, creating the Texas Long-Term Care Partnership, meaning it will soon be arriving at the governor's desk.
"This legislation will help seniors purchase long-term care insurance retain a portion of their assets under Medicaid eligibility guidelines. It benefits seniors and, by promoting the use of private insurance, has the added benefit of helping taxpayers," said Senator Nelson, Chairman of the Senate Committee on Health & Human Services.
Currently less than 400,000 people in Texas have long term care insurance. SB 22 offers an incentive for the purchase of long-term care insurance by offering seniors with private policies asset protection under Medicaid eligibility rules and estate recovery program. Long term care is one of the largest cost drivers in Texas Medicaid. The federal Deficit Reduction Act allows states to create Long Term Care Partnership Program as a way to contain Medicaid costs. SB 22:
- Authorizes individuals to receive protection of assets up to the value spent by qualified long term care insurance policies when applying for Medicaid;
- Allows reciprocity for partnership policies bought in other states;
- Directs HHSC, DADS, and TDI to work together on a public outreach campaign to include education on long term care financing, the need for long term care insurance, and how to get more information about what companies are offering plans.