Private Insurance

Private Insurance

Because many Americans fail to plan for their long term care needs, tens of thousands of Americans are impoverished each year by the costs of long term care. Recently enacted health insurance legislation has helped make private long term care insurance a more viable option to paying for long term care costs while preserving personal savings.

The Health Insurance Reform Act includes consumer protections for purchasers of long term care insurance and tax clarifications for long term care insurance which make treatment of private long term care insurance identical to that of health insurance coverage. Starting January 1, 1997, individuals have been able to include out-of-pocket expenses for long term care and long term care insurance premiums with their other itemized medical expenses on their annual tax returns. Long term care and other medical expenses are deductible, provided that they exceed the federal government's 7.5 percent threshold of adjusted gross income. Also, the insurance benefits consumers receive, for the most part, will not be taxable as income.

SUPPLEMENTAL SECURITY INCOME (SSI)

SSI is a monthly cash payment from the government for eligible individuals in financial need who are aged 65 or older or persons who are blind or have a disability (including children). Typically, a person eligible for SSI payments has little or no income, total assets of less than a few thousand dollars (within certain limits set out in regulations, not including a home used for self support, automobile, values of household goods, personal effects, and life insurance), has U.S. citizenship or qualified alien status, and U.S. residency.

In certain circumstances, the SSI payment may be used towards some housing and care needs of the individual.

The SSI program is run by the Social Security Administration (www.ssa.gov), but the SSI is not the same as Social Security. Money for SSI payments comes from the general fund of the U.S. Treasury, and some states add money to the federal payment.

PRIVATE PAY

Private Pay for all or part of the residents care may be the only option during their entire stay, A resident may become eligible for the Texas Medicaid Program if their asset level diminishes. (A resident may begin paying privately for care and make application for the State of Texas Medicaid Program)

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