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What does the health care law mean to you? Your story is important. We read and learn from every story and it helps us in our educational efforts. We may even use your comments (with permission) to brief legislators, inspire readers and more. Please share your story with us. Do

Long-term Care Insurance Protections for Bay State Consumers

Some good news from the State House: Governor Deval Patrick (D) recently signed Senate Bill No. 2359, An Act to Establish Standards for Long Term Care Insurance, into law – making Massachusetts the 42nd state in the nation to provide such consumer protections. More than 2,000 AARP members from the Bay State contacted Gov. Patrick (D) to urge him to make the law, which makes all of the National Association of Insurance (NAIC) model regulations a reality.

A ten-year battle to protect consumers

“The direct action by our members culminates a ten-year fight by AARP to subject long term care insurance to tough consumer protections and greater standardization,” said AARP Massachusetts State President Linda Fitzgerald in a statement thanking Gov. Patrick and the legislature. “AARP will continue to work to enhance consumer protections as part of the working group, named in the law, to identify best methods to stabilize long-term care insurance rates and prevent exceptional rate increases.”

What is long term care?

“Long term care" refers to the help that people with chronic illnesses, disabilities or other conditions need on a daily basis over an extended period of time. The type of help needed can range from assistance with simple activities (such as bathing, dressing and eating) to skilled care provided by nurses, therapists or other professionals.

The odds that you'll need long term care are likely greater than you imagine. According to the AARP Bulletin, seventy percent of all Americans age 65 and older will likely need some form of long term care.

What does long term care insurance cover?

Long term care insurance policies offer many different coverage options. Depending on the policy options you select, long-term care insurance can help you pay for the care you need, whether you are living at home or in an assisted living facility or nursing home. The insurance might also pay expenses for adult day care, care coordination and other services. Some policies will even help pay costs associated with modifying your home so you can keep living in it safely.

What will the new Massachusetts law do?

Thanks to the new law, consumers will be able to review objective information to help them determine exactly what a particular policy provides, and ultimately make an informed decision about purchasing long term care insurance, based on their:

  • Financial circumstances
  • Age
  • Living situation
  • Health status

I want to find the right plan for me – where do I start?

Looking for long term care insurance, but unsure where to begin? Too often consumers are stumped trying to compare complex and expensive plans. Many long term care policies provide comprehensive coverage including home health care, adult day services, assisted living, personal care and respite care – but cost and coverage can vary widely.

These resources can help get you started today:

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