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Long-Term Care

Thursday, December 9, 2010

How Do We Provide Affordable Care For Millions Of People, Preserving Their Independence, Without Breaking Their Pocketbooks Or Bankrupting The Taxpayers?

Bob Rosenblatt
Senior Fellow, National Academy of Social Insurance

Each summer, NASI’s Somers Aging and Long-Term Care Research Internship program selects 5-7 graduate students to spend 12 weeks receiving high-quality training in policy research skills on challenging issues facing the diverse aging population of the United States.

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Posted on December 9, 2010  |  9 comments  |  Add your comment
Thursday, December 2, 2010

What does the Report of the Fiscal Commission Co-Chairs Mean for Health Policy?

Lee Goldberg
Director of Health Policy, National Academy of Social Insurance

The Co-chairs of the President’s Commission presented a number of policy proposals aimed primarily at reducing the growth spending on Medicare and Medicaid. Given the size of the two programs, some of these changes may impact health care spending patterns in the private economy, but many will simply shift costs to other payers. Few, if any, proposals would address the underlying growing demand for services triggered by an aging population and a long term care system that relies on private savings.

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Posted on December 2, 2010  |  1 comment  |  Add your comment
Tuesday, June 1, 2010

A Social Insurance Approach to the Problem of Paying for Long-Term Care

Bob Rosenblatt
Senior Fellow, NASI

The United States is going to try something new – a social insurance approach to the problem of paying for long-term services and supports. As more and more of the 76 million baby boomers move into their 60s and beyond, there will be a growing population of people who need help with the activities of daily living (using the toilet, dressing, bathing, eating, getting in and out of bed, walking around in the house or apartment). To date, this has been a private responsibility, with individuals and families providing care or paying for it out of their own funds. The government gets involved only if you go into a nursing home and “spend down,” using all your money until you have just $2,000. Then you qualify for Medicaid, the government’s health program for the poor.

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Posted on June 1, 2010  |  Write the first comment
Thursday, October 15, 2009

Can the Time Value of Money Save Long Term Care?

John Cutler
Senior Policy Analyst, United States Office of Personnel Management

Often left behind instead of going to the dance, long term care may finally see its opening in health care reform. Until now, few reform proposals bothered with long term care (LTC) in spite of the fact that a much greater share of the population is at risk compared with the scope of the “uninsured” for general health care. In addition, social insurance advocates and private insurance supporters often were in an uneasy alliance around how to approach any LTC reform, further hindering chances to address it. But with the reform of health care likely this year, LTC supporters have, for the most part, coalesced around Senator Kennedy’s CLASS Act as the most likely ticket to the dance.

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Posted on October 15, 2009  |  Write the first comment
Monday, April 6, 2009

Increasing Social Security Benefits for Family Elder Caregivers

Shelley White-Means
Professor of Health Economics, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

Rose Rubin
Professor, Department of Economics, University of Memphis

Informal care provided by family members improves quality of life for frail elders, allows them to remain in the community instead of in nursing homes, and saves Medicaid dollars. Providing the care also imposes opportunity costs on caregivers that weaken their own retirement security. Retirement Security for Family Elder Care Givers with Labor Force Employment proposes to provide up to four years of Social Security credit to individuals who provide care to elders. The elders must be certified to need levels of care that would qualify for Medicaid coverage. The value of the credit would be the caregiver’s average wage in the three years before care giving interrupted earnings. The authors suggest the credit could be financed based on the reduction in public spending for nursing home care.

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Posted on April 6, 2009  |  Write the first comment