We all knew it was coming-rate hikes for Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) in Massachusetts. Increases from 10 percent to 40 percent, with increases greater than 10 percent phased in over multiple years have been announced by the Division of Insurance.
The Massachusetts Division of Insurance has been holding off the companies for several years, but something had to give. So either rate hikes, or companies get in financial trouble and/or leave the Commonwealth. But there are some very important things to keep in mind when considering your options if you are faced with a premium increase:
- If you purchased an LTCI policy before March 15, 1999, that paid at least $50 per day of nursing home benefits, for at least two (2) years, your home may be protected if you need Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) to pay for your care.
- If you purchased an LTCI policy after March 15, 1999 that paid at that paid at least $125 per day of nursing home benefits, for at least two (2) years, your home may be protected if you need Medicaid (MassHealth in Massachusetts) to pay for your care.
- You may be able to drop some benefits in your policy (like inflation riders) to keep the premiums the same, but still maintain the Medicaid protection.
Massachusetts is the only state in the country that has this protection for your home if you have purchased the right amount of LTCI. Before you throw up your hands and give up this valuable protection, talk to your attorney. You may be able to make adjustments to keep the policy affordable, and if you can’t, maybe your children can help. After all, they might be the ones to ultimately benefit from the protection you are paying for.