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Long-Term Care Insurance: Partnership Programs Include Benefits That Protect Policyholders and Are Unlikely to Result in Medicaid Savings

GAO-07-231 Published: May 11, 2007. Publicly Released: Jun 11, 2007.
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Partnership programs allow individuals who purchase Partnership long-term care insurance policies to exempt at least some of their personal assets from Medicaid eligibility requirements. In response to a congressional request, GAO examined (1) the benefits and premium requirements of Partnership policies as compared with those of traditional long-term care insurance policies; (2) the demographics of Partnership policyholders, traditional long-term care insurance policyholders, and people without long-term care insurance; and (3) whether the Partnership programs are likely to result in savings for Medicaid. To examine benefits, premiums, and demographics, GAO used 2002 through 2005 data from the four states with Partnership programs--California, Connecticut, Indiana, and New York--and other data sources. To assess the likely impact on Medicaid savings, GAO (1) used data from surveys of Partnership policyholders to estimate how they would have financed their long-term care without the Partnership program, (2) constructed three scenarios illustrative of the options for financing long-term care to compare how long it would take for an individual to spend his or her assets on long-term care and become eligible for Medicaid, and (3) estimated the likelihood that Partnership policyholders would become eligible for Medicaid based on their wealth and insurance benefits.

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