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Answers about Colorado's long-term care partnership

Colorado works with its citizens to assist with long-term care (LTC) planning. The state believes that when people plan properly and are proactive, they should be rewarded.

This is why Colorado's Long-Term Care Partnership was established. It is a partnership between private insurance and state government and encourages long-term care planning.

What benefits does Colorado's LTC Partnership provide?

The Partnership helps residents plan for long-term care with quality insurance without using up all of their assets or resources to pay for it. Health insurers can sell LTC policies to individuals. For each dollar the policy pays out in coverage, a matching dollar goes towards protecting the policy holder's personal assets if they apply for Medicaid when they can no longer afford the LTC policy.

The person's Medicaid eligibility requirement increases the amount of assets her or she can own by that amount. Therefore, if the LTC policy paid $1000 in coverage, the person can own $1000 more in assets and still be eligible.

What is LTC insurance?

With LTC insurance, healthcare services place the emphasis on helping people retain their quality of life instead of improving their condition. LTC is often necessary for people who have a chronic disease or debilitating illness, have been in a serious accident or have cognitive issues, such as Alzheimer's disease.

What type of services does LTC provide?

There are two services that are generally provided by LTC:

  • Nursing home facilities provides food, shelter, and 24-hour care from a health care professional.
  • Home and community-based services provide nurses, home health aides or personal care where providers come to your home or other location to assist you.

What type of insurance covers LTC?

Unfortunately, most health insurance companies as well as Medicare usually do not cover LTC. Medicaid does provide LTC services for low-income individuals who meet eligibility requirements. The program covers elderly and disabled individuals.

How is eligibility for Medicaid determined?

An individual must meet the following requirements:

  • You must be a Colorado resident.
  • You must be able to provide proof of citizenship.
  • You must have a Social Security number.
  • You must meet LTC level requirements.
  • You must not have over $2,000 in resources (in addition to allowed exemptions).

Planning to afford LTC without exhausting your resources can be tricky. An estate planning attorney can provide you with the help you need.

Source: Colorado Official State Web Portal, "Colorado Long-Term Care Partnership," accessed April 02, 2018

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