Bureau of Insurance Reminds Consumers of September 28th Deadline Regarding Long-Term Care Partnership Program

GARDINER – The Maine Bureau of Insurance is reminding consumers of an approaching deadline involving the Maine Long-Term Care Partnership Program (Partnership Program).  The Maine Partnership Program creates a means by which certain long-term care insurance policies can be given special MaineCare (Medicaid) treatment.  By receiving benefits from a partnership policy, policyholders are able to keep assets of a greater value than normally allowed for enrollment in MaineCare for their long term care needs.

“Like most states, Maine has established a Partnership Program, and partnership policies are available for purchase from a number of insurance companies,” Insurance Superintendent Eric Cioppa advised.  “It is important for consumers to know what benefits may be available, and to evaluate whether they are the right choice.”

Consumer who have already purchased a traditional (i.e., non-partnership) long-term care policy from an insurance company that now offers partnership policies may be eligible to participate in this program.

Consumers with traditional long-term care policies issued prior to July 1, 2004 must contact their insurance company by September 28, 2012 to find out if they are eligible to participate.  If a policy was issued on or after July 1, 2004, the insurance company will send a notice regarding eligibility for the program.

Traditional long-term care insurance policies that meet a number of required criteria will qualify for partnership treatment.  If a policy qualifies, the insurance company will provide an “Important Notice Regarding Your Policy’s Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Status” and a policy amendment.  These documents provide evidence of a policy’s eligibility for partnership status if the policyholder applies for MaineCare benefits.

If a traditional long-term care insurance policy does not qualify, the policyholder may be able to replace the traditional policy with a partnership policy.  The new policy may, however, be subject to medical underwriting and the costs may be greater depending upon age.  The benefits of program participation must be weighed against the potential costs of new coverage.

Maine’s Bureau of Insurance has a list of approved partnership policies and a brochure to answer frequently asked questions about the program.  Both are available on the Bureau’s website (www.maine.gov/insurance).  Consumers may also call the Bureau to ask questions at 1-800-300-5000.

The Bureau of Insurance is part of the Department of Professional and Financial Regulation which encourages sound business practices through high quality, impartial and efficient oversight of insurers, financial institutions, creditors, investment providers, and numerous occupations to protect the public. Consumers can reach the Bureau at www.maine.gov/insurance; by calling 800-300-5000 in state; or by writing to Bureau of Insurance, 34 State House Station, Augusta ME 04333.

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