Schakowsky Introduces Bill to Boost Consumer Protections in Long-Term Care Insurance

July 28, 2010
Press Release

WASHINGTON, DC (July 28, 2010) Today Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-IL), member of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and Rep. Lloyd Doggett (D-TX), member of the House Ways and Means Committee, introduced the Confidence in Long Term Care Insurance Act.


The Confidence in Long Term Care Insurance Act would strengthen consumer protections in the long term care insurance market and ensure that individuals actually get the protection they paid for. The legislation is supported by the AARP, Consumers Union, the American Council of Life Insurers, and Genworth.

"American consumers who buy long-term care insurance want to make sure it is there when they need it. The Confidence in Long Term Care Insurance Act will protect them from fly-by-night bad actors that sell faulty policies,... said Schakowsky. "It will also make sure that, as long-term care insurance policies change in the future, we can update standards to make sure that consumers are fully protected.  This is common-sense legislation that is supported by consumer groups, industry and regulators....

"Working all your life and planning for your future should come with a little bit of certainty that your hard work and planning didn't go to waste,... said Doggett.  "Though we all hope for a pleasant retirement, many unforeseen circumstances can strike.  When people make the decision to put aside money for the high costs of care in a nursing home, assisted living, or getting services to stay in their homes, they should know that their money, their loved ones, and their planning are safe....

AARP said in its endorsement: "Americans need options to help them pay for the long-term care services and supports they may need, including to help them live in their homes and communities. Americans considering long-term care insurance should have information to help them make informed choices about which policy may best meet their needs… This bill would improve consumer protection standards and bring greater consistency to such standards across long-term care insurance policies....

American Council of Life Insurers said in its endorsement: "This legislation will not only strengthen consumer protections for long-term care insurance, but will also serve as an excellent platform to educate the public on planning for its future long-term care needs, an essential component of the retirement planning process....

Private long-term care insurance (LTCI) policies can provide financial protection against the high cost of long-term care services. While state governments are primarily responsible for regulating this market, the federal government sets standards at a national level for tax-qualified policies and Medicaid LTCI Partnership policies. The federal laws standardizing LTCI regulations have become outdated, and there is a growing concern among state regulators, consumers and the industry itself that these standards need to be revamped.

The Confidence in Long Term Care Insurance Act will bring current regulations up-to-date and improve consumer protections within the long-term care insurance market. The bill will also increase transparency by establishing a web-based directory of information to be known as "LTC Insurance Compare.... Increasing transparency within this market will strengthen consumer protections and help American families make decisions about preparing for their future long-term care needs.

Issues: