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DHS news release

Dec. 27, 2007

Media contact: Cary Greenwood, DHS, 503-945-6069, cell 503-602-9221
John Piper, DCBS, 503-947-7213
Program contact: Joanne Schiedler, DHS, 503-947-5201

New long-term care insurance policies to protect assets for Medicaid

Insurers will begin offering Oregon residents a new kind of long-term care insurance policy after Jan. 1, 2008, that will allow them to protect their assets if they ever need to apply for Medicaid.

The new Qualified Partnership Policies are intended to encourage individuals to purchase long-term care insurance by offering asset protection for benefit amounts received under a policy. Assets are excluded that may otherwise be counted when qualifying for Medicaid. Each dollar that a Partnership policy pays out in benefits entitles the beneficiary to keep a dollar of assets if the beneficiary applies for Medicaid.

Additionally, excluded assets aren’t subject to estate claims by the State of Oregon and will be available for distribution to heirs.

Qualified Partnership Policies purchased in one state are transferable from state to state if the other state has a Partnership program and accepts out-of-state policies.

Senate Bill 191, approved by the 2007 Legislature, allows Oregon to participate in the Long-term Care Partnership Program, which was authorized under the federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005. The Department of Human Services and the Insurance Division of the Department of Consumer and Business Services will administer the program.

In Oregon, Partnership policies will be sold through private insurance companies and agents licensed by the Insurance Division.

For more information about Partnership policies or other insurance questions or complaints, contact the Insurance Division’s Consumer Advocacy Unit at 1-888-877-4894 or online at the DCBS Insurance Division Web site. For more information about Medicaid qualifications, contact DHS at 1-800-282-8096 or at the DHS Division of Medical Assistance Programs Web site.