CSSJR 28(HES): Urging dissemination of information about the costs of long-term care services and the availability of long-term care insurance for individuals.

00 CS FOR SENATE JOINT RESOLUTION NO. 28(HES) 01 Urging dissemination of information about the costs of long-term care services and the 02 availability of long-term care insurance for individuals. 03 BE IT RESOLVED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF ALASKA: 04 WHEREAS members of the baby boom generation are beginning to retire, which will 05 put a strain on the financial resources of younger Americans if their taxes are increased to 06 cover the resulting rise in total Social Security and Medicare payments to retirees; and 07 WHEREAS Medicaid was designed as a program for the poor but, in many states, 08 Medicaid is being used to fund long-term care expenses for middle-income elderly people; 09 and 10 WHEREAS, in the coming decade, people over 65 years of age will represent 20 11 percent or more of the population, and the proportion of the population composed of 12 individuals who are over 85 years of age and are most likely to be in need of long-term care 13 may double or triple; and 14 WHEREAS the costs of nursing home care can have a catastrophic effect on families, 15 wiping out a lifetime of savings before a spouse, parent, or grandparent becomes eligible for 16 Medicaid; and

01 WHEREAS many people are unaware that most long-term care costs are not covered 02 by Medicare and that Medicaid covers long-term care only after the person's assets have been 03 exhausted; and 04 WHEREAS widespread use of private, long-term care insurance has the potential to 05 protect families from the catastrophic costs of long-term care services while, at the same time, 06 easing the burden on Medicaid as the baby boom generation ages; and 07 WHEREAS the federal government has endorsed the concept of private, long-term 08 care insurance by establishing some federal tax rules for tax-qualified policies in the Health 09 Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996; 10 BE IT RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 11 President, the Congress, and the Governor to direct the appropriate governmental agencies to 12 inform the public 13 (1) about the high cost of long-term care services and the need for families to 14 plan for their long-term care needs; 15 (2) that Medicare will not cover most long-term care costs and that Medicaid 16 will cover long-term care services only when the beneficiary has exhausted assets; 17 (3) that Americans should explore the availability of long-term care insurance 18 through their employers, service organizations, professional groups, other entities, and private 19 insurance companies; and be it 20 FURTHER RESOLVED that the Alaska State Legislature respectfully requests the 21 Congress to determine to what extent tax rules may discriminate against the buyers of long- 22 term care insurance policies and to look for ways to remove such barriers and implement new 23 incentives for the purchase of long-term care insurance by individual Americans. 24 COPIES of this resolution shall be sent to the Honorable George W. Bush, President 25 of the United States; the Honorable Richard B. Cheney, Vice-President of the United States 26 and President of the U.S. Senate; the Honorable Tommy Thompson, United States Secretary 27 of Health and Human Services; to the Honorable Ted Stevens and the Honorable Frank 28 Murkowski, U.S. Senators, and the Honorable Don Young, U.S. Representative, members of 29 the Alaska delegation in Congress; the Honorable Tony Knowles, Governor of Alaska; Bob 30 Lohr, Director of the Division of Insurance, Department of Community and Economic 31 Development; and to Jane P. Demmert, Director of the Alaska Commission on Aging,

01 Division of Senior Services, Department of Administration.