What Would You Tell the Federal Long Term Care Commission?

The “fiscal cliff” deal signed by President Obama at the end of 2012 established a new Commission on  Long-Term Care.  This is the first time that Congress has recognized the need to make a   a comprehensive evaluation of long-term supports  and services since the U.S. Bipartisan Commission on Comprehensive Health Care  (the Pepper Commission) more than twenty years ago.

Last month, a group of members of the Life Care Planning Law Firms Association (www.lcplfa.org) met to discuss what we would like to suggest to the Commission. We came up with the following list  (in no particular order!):

  • All private long-term care insurance and state Medicaid agencies should cover home health and assisted living,  as well as nursing home care
  • Home health and nursing home aides should receive a fair wage, including overtime, so that high quality individuals are attracted to this career
  • The immigration law that allows foreign young people to serve as nannies or au pair girls should be expanded to allow foreign nationals to serve as caregivers for seniors
  • Some sort of training should be provided to seniors when they enroll in Medicare to make sure they understand that Medicare does not cover long-term or custodial care
  • State pooled trusts for Special Needs Trusts should be allowed for individuals over 65
  • A tax credit should be allowed for Long Term Care Insurance premiums
  • Access to Palliative care should be expanded
  • Make it easier to coordinate care among physicians as a way to manage cost and improve that care

One of the Commission members is a past president of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys (www.naela.com), and we are eager to reach out to her to share our thoughts and learn about what the commission is doing.

What would you tell them? Join the conversation!


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