Federal Partnership Program
The State of South Carolina participates in the federal/state long-term care program. The program, which was authorized under the federal Deficit Reduction Act (2005), provides consumers a way to protect assets from the high costs of long-term health care. The South Carolina Long-Term Care Partnership is a joint effort between the Federal Medicaid Program and Long-Term Care (LTC)insurers in cooperation with the South Carolina Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Insurance
The Partnership was created to help South Carolina residents pay for the high cost of long-term care expenses without spending life savings. The partnership approved plans allow you to pay for needed care, whether at home, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home, all while preserving your dignity and independence. You no longer have to worry about impoverishing yourself or losing your savings to pay for long-term care expenses. This is referred to as “dollar-for-dollar” asset protection. In the event that you exhaust the benefits from your qualified South Carolina Long-Term Care Partnership insurance policy an equal amount of assets will be “disregarded” in the spend-down and recovery requirements in order to qualify for Medicaid long-term care benefits.
For example, if your South Carolina Partnership Long-Term Care insurance policy paid 350,000 in benefits your asset disregard would be $350,000. You would be able to maintain the $350,000 in addition to the normal allowance and still qualify for Medicaid’s Long-Term Care benefits. 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 South Carolina. This means if you move from or to South Carolina your partnership asset protection follows you as well.
Long-Term Care Medicaid spend down is $2,000. A spouse’s minimum asset allowance is $66,480. Your spouse’s minimum monthly income allowance is $3,216. * The home equity limit is $595,000.
For more information about the Medicaid program visit www.medicaid.gov.
Rate Stability Rules
In addition, South Carolina consumers enjoy additional peace-of-mind as the state has adopted Long-Term Care Insurance Rate Stability Rules. These rules, developed the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, makes it much harder for an insurance company to get an approved rate increase.
Products Approved in South Carolina
A variety of products are approved in South Carolina for Long-Term Care planning. This includes the traditional plans, including partnership certified policies, short-duration policies, and asset-based “hybrid” policies.
South Carolina does not offer any state tax incentives for qualified Long-Term Care insurance; however, federal tax incentives are still available.
*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.