Bay State 42nd state to enact long-term care ins. protections



Yesterday, Gov. Deval Patrick signed Senate Bill No. 2359, An Act to Establish Standards for Long Term Care Insurance, into law — making Massachusetts the 42nd state in the nation to provide such consumer protections. “AARP thanks Gov. Patrick and the legislature for putting consumers first, and making much-needed long-term care insurance standards law in the commonwealth, said Linda F. Fitzgerald, state president of AARP Massachusetts. The law includes all of the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) model regulations, and is strongly supported by AARP.

“In the past week alone, more than 1,000 AARP members in Massachusetts contacted Gov. Patrick urging him to make this law a reality. The direct action by our members culminates a ten-year fight by AARP to subject long term care insurance to tough consumer protections and greater standardization.

“Bottom line: Consumers often understand the need for long term care insurance, but become stumped when trying to compare complex plans that come with high price tags.

“Today, many long term care policies provide comprehensive coverage including home health care, adult day services, assisted living, personal care and respite care. Now, consumers will be able to review objective information to help them determine exactly what a particular policy provides, and ultimately make an informed decision about purchasing long term care insurance — based on their financial circumstances, age, living situation and health status.

“AARP will continue to work to enhance consumer protections as part of the working group, named in the law, to identify best methods to stabilize long-term care insurance rates and prevent exceptional rate increases.”