Washington, D.C. - U.S. Senator Amy Klobuchar today introduced legislation to help ensure high-quality long-term care for America’s seniors. The three bills would make long-term care policies more transparent, help ensure seniors receive the benefits promised by those policies, and assist families who care for aging family members.
“Seniors deserve high-quality long-term care that works for them and their families,”said Klobuchar. “These bills will help ensure that long-term care programs are easy to navigate and make it easier for families to care for their loved ones.”
Klobuchar has introduced three bills to help improve long-term care for seniors. The Long-Term Care Insurance Consumer Right-to-Know Act, introduced with Senator Herb Kohl (D-WI), would help consumers understand exactly what is covered in their long-term care policies. This legislation will require insurance companies to provide a one-page, standardized disclosure form to consumers after the purchase of a long term care insurance policy. This will simplify the product for consumers and help to avoid confusion over the details of the benefits of long-term care policies.
The Long-Term Care Integrity Act would protect consumers who have purchased long-term care insurance and are seeking claims on their policies. While some 8 million Americans have already purchased long-term care insurance policies, there have been growing complaints about the refusal of insurance companies to pay claims. The legislation calls for the creation of an independent, third-party review board to address the denial of appropriate and timely benefits by insurance companies.
The Americans Giving Care to Elders (AGE) Act, introduced with Senator Barbara Mikulski (D-MD), would establish a federal tax credit to assist with the costs of caring for an aging family member. A recent study found that the out-of-pocket costs for family caregivers average about $5,500 per year. To help offset these costs, this legislation would allow families to qualify for a tax credit up to $1,200 per year. The AGE Act also establishes a central clearinghouse for best practices, and promising innovations to support families in their caregiving role, and provides increased funding to federal caregiver support efforts.