Buying a Long Term Care Insurance Policy on Your Resolution List? Consider a Partnership Policy The Long-Term Care Partnership Program is a Federally-supported, state-operated initiative that allows individuals who purchase a qualified long term care insurance policy or coverage to protect a portion of their assets that they would typically need to spend down prior to qualifying for Medicaid coverage. Once an individual purchases a Partnership policy and uses some or all of the policy benefits, the amount of the policy benefits used will be disregarded for purposes of calculating eligibility for Medicaid. This means that you are able to keep assets up to the amount of the policy benefits that were paid under their policy or coverage. For example, in a state that chooses to participate in the Long-Term Care Partnership Program, once you have used part or all of your maximum lifetime benefit (MLB), your assets would be protected up to the amount paid under the policy. You would not need to spend those assets before qualifying for that state’s Medicaid program The Long-Term Care Partnership Program originated in the late 1980s to address the increasing cost of state Medicaid expenditures for long term care. It allowed individuals to purchase a long term care insurance policy that protected an individual’s assets up to a predetermined amount of policy benefits. Benefits used would be disregarded when determining the individual’s eligibility for state Medicaid. An amount equal to the benefits used would not have to be part of the asset spend-down for Medicaid eligibility. The Federal Deficit Reduction Act of 2005 (DRA) allowed for the nationwide expansion of the Long-Term Care Insurance Partnership Program and asset protection on a dollar-for-dollar basis. This means that for each dollar of benefits paid under the policy, the individual will get one dollar of asset protection, up to the maximum benefits paid out under the policy. Each state can elect to implement a DRA Partnership Program for the citizens of that state. The DRA does not require states to participate. In turn, insurance companies need to decide if they will offer Partnership policies, and the policies must be certified as qualifying as Partnership policies. The law specifies that anyone who purchases a tax-qualified long term care insurance policy that meets stringent consumer protection standards and certain inflation requirements under the Partnership Program would qualify for asset protection, on a dollar-for-dollar basis, up to the policy maximum. Check with your financial/insurance professional.