There is a possibility that the structural and financial costs of caring for elderly Americans will become the issue that overwhelms all others in importance in the coming decades. Among the myriad issues and problems facing the United States at present, many politicians and policymakers have focused on issues that appear more immediate. As they do, however, the United States grows older and more infirm, all while birth rates fell to 1.73 births per female in 2018 and net immigration has fallen to the lowest levels this decade. Given the aging baby boomer generation, the current scenario has all of the makings of a serious demographic crisis. Among an aging population, dementia has become a very prevalent, very difficult, and very expensive illness that many confront, and so far little progress has been made on a cure. Indeed, The Economist, in its August 27, 2020 edition, published a special report on dementia that included the following statistics:
Companies are searching for solutions to the increasing demand for next-generation elder care solutions. As chronic conditions like Alzheimer’s Disease and other forms of dementia increase in the elder population, the necessity for in-home care rises. Insurers finding new ways to meet these needs face hurdles in state regulations on insurance rebating and the tax qualified status of wellness policies. The insurance community is keeping a close eye on potential overhaul of anti-rebating provisions and support for programs intended to allow those in need of long-term care to remain at home.
Assured Allies and Faegre Drinker have partnered to develop a playbook for the long-term care insurance industry. Responding and Managing the Impact of COVID-19 offers insights, guidance and ideas to manage the short- and medium-term impacts of the COVID-19 global pandemic and provides potential avenues for long-term care insurers to explore in the post-COVID-19 world that could change long-term care insurance forever.
Many long-term-care (LTC) insurance policies in the market are “Tax-Qualified,” or “TQ,” meaning that they meet the federal standards for favorable tax treatment specified by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996 (HIPAA) (or were grandfathered in to that definition). This is an attractive option for most insureds because under TQ policies, certain LTC insurance benefits qualify for favorable federal income tax treatment — if the policy pays only benefits that reimburse the insured for qualified LTC costs, the insured will not owe federal income tax on those benefits. Likewise, premiums are tax-deductible up to a maximum limit that increases with age. These benefits are not provided by policies that are “Non-Tax-Qualified,” or “NTQ.”