Connecticut participates in the long-term care partnership program where owners of qualified LTC Insurance can safeguard assets with additional asset protection. Care in the state is very expensive, with many care providers available.
Quality care options are available statewide, and several insurance solutions are available. However, rapidly increasing costs for care services throughout Connecticut are becoming burdensome on residents and their families for those who do not have Long-Term Care Insurance.
The variety of quality care options available in Connecticut for those who require long-term health care services include:
- adult day care centers
- assisted living facilities
- continuing care retirement communities
- home health care providers
- memory care facilities
- rehabilitation facilities
- traditional nursing homes
Several insurance solutions are available to safeguard income and assets from the high costs and burdens of aging. Plus, all tax-qualified Long-Term Care Insurance policies in Connecticut have various consumer protections in addition to available tax benefits.
Federal Partnership Program
Under the Connecticut Partnership Program, private insurance companies competitively sell special long-term care insurance policies. These policies not only offer benefits to pay for long-term care costs, but they also offer Medicaid Asset Protection should you ever need to apply to Connecticut's Medicaid Program for assistance.
To help you plan for your financial future, the State of Connecticut has joined forces with private insurance companies to form the Connecticut Partnership for Long-Term Care.
For most people, it is unpleasant to think about needing nursing home or home care when they get older. No one is immune to this possibility. Even more unpleasant is the likelihood that you will have to sacrifice your life's savings to pay for that care -- if you don't plan ahead. The Connecticut Long-Term Care Partnership Program provides additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection so whatever your policy pays in benefits will be disregarded in the spend-down requirements for Medicaid.
In this example a policy pays out $650,000 in benefits when the benefits are exhausted, however, you are still living and require long-term care services. The state will disregard that same amount in the calculation for the Medicaid Long-Term Care benefit. This way you are able to keep a substantially larger amount of savings then you would otherwise be allowed to keep and still qualify for Medicaid. The Partnership Program also protects those assets after death from Medicaid estate recovery.
Most states have reciprocity with other states' long-term-care partnership programs including Connecticut. This means if you move from or to Connecticut your additional partnership asset protection will be honored.
HUSKY is the Medicaid program in Connecticut. Connecticut's Medicaid program will pay for long-term health care if an individual has little or no income and assets. The Long-Term Care Medicaid spend down is $1,600. A spouse’s minimum asset allowance is a minimum of $27,480 up to a maximum of one-half of countable assets up to $137,400. Your spouse’s minimum monthly income allowance is $2,177.50 * The home equity limit is $955,000.
For more information about the Medicaid program visit www.medicaid.gov.
Connecticut Medicaid Estate Recovery Program
When a person applies for HUSKY (Medicaid program in Connecticut) and requires long-term services and supports, their estate will be subject to the Medicaid Estate Recovery Program, otherwise known as MERP.
The state will recover the cost of long-term care services if assets remain in the estate at the time of death. Assets subject to recovery will include your home and other real estate, bank accounts, other financial assets, vehicles, cash, and even household goods. Certain assets in trusts are also subject to recovery.
Remember, Medicaid (HUSKY - the Medicaid program in Connecticut) will provide long-term care services only if you have little or no income and assets. However, the state will never require a living spouse to move out of their home.
If the deceased does not own assets when they die, there will be nothing to recover.
The state may "look back" up to 60 months before application for HUSKY long-term care services to determine when income was reduced and resources were transferred.
If a person had a qualified Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance policy, the total amount of benefits paid by the policy would be sheltered from asset recovery.
State Resources for Aging and Long-Term Care in Connecticut
There are a variety of state resources available in Connecticut to help residents and their families with issues of aging and long-term health care. Many of these services benefit low-income families.
"Community Choices" is an information hub linking older adults and caregivers in Connecticut to the services and supports they seek and available funding to pay for long-term care services for qualified residents. The agency serves as a resource on aging and disability issues at the state level. Several services are available to residents and their families, including benefits screening, options counseling, and care transitions.
The Long-Term Care Ombudsman Program (LTCOP) works to improve the quality of life and the quality of care of Connecticut citizens living in nursing homes, residential care homes, and assisted living communities.
One of the significant roles of the Ombudsman is to protect the rights of those living in long-term care facilities. LTCOP investigates complaints about abuse and neglect, monitors long-term care facilities to ensure residents' quality of life is being protected, and assists families in understanding their legal rights in these cases.
The LTCOP also provides information regarding available long-term care programs and services and represents residents' interests before governmental agencies.
The Connecticut Legal Aid Network offers free and low-cost legal services to nursing home residents and other seniors throughout the state. Services include protection against financial abuse, fraud, and scams. The network also affords legal information about medical and health care, including nursing home care. They also offer end-of-life planning.
Seniors who are eligible for HUSKY (Medicaid program in Connecticut) long-term care benefits in a nursing home can apply for funds to help them transition back to community living.
The 'Money Follows the Person' program allows qualified residents to use their HUSKY Medicaid funds to cover the cost of home-based home health care services and supports.
Home Care Program for Elders (CHCPE) helps eligible residents to continue living at home instead of going to a nursing home. The individual's specific needs are reviewed to determine the appropriateness of in-home long-term care services.
CHCPE also offers care management, adult day care services, companionship services, home-delivered meals, and homemaker support to help eligible residents stay in their homes.
Products Approved in Connecticut
A variety of affordable products are approved in Connecticut for Long-Term Care planning. These include traditional plans, including partnership certified policies, short-duration plans, and asset-based “hybrid” policies.
Connecticut does not, at this time, have any state tax incentive available. However, federal tax incentives are available for some people and businesses.
Reverse Mortgages in Connecticut
Reverse mortgages are available in Connecticut. A reverse mortgage is a home equity loan where the borrower does not have to make payments.
This type of mortgage can increase monthly income, eliminate mortgage payments, and even fund Long-Term Care Insurance. However, Connecticut has many rules on these products, and you should seek the help of a qualified and licensed mortgage broker.
If you have significant equity in your home and you and your spouse are at least 62 years old, you can get a reverse mortgage to turn your equity into funding long-term health care, pay for an LTC Insurance policy, pay bills and add to your retirement lifestyle.
The home must be the principal residence without any tax liens.
Learn more about reverse mortgages by clicking here.
*The federal government sets a new minimum and maximum amounts each year, but states can set their own minimum requirements at any level between the federal limits. This information is based on the best available sources.