The California Partnership for Long-Term Care

According to the California Partnership for Long-Term Care (Partnership), its mission is to increase the number of middle-income Californians who have quality long-term care insurance that prevents or delays their dependence on Medi-Cal.

The California Partnership for Long-Term Care is a program of the California Department of Health Services designed to assist Californians with the emotional and financial effects of long-term care. The California Partnership has established guidelines for high-quality Partnership-Certified Long-Term Care Insurance policies.

But a Partnership policy does something more, something unique. It contains a "lifetime asset protection" feature. This assures that catastrophic long-term care expenses won't reduce you to poverty even if you run out of insurance benefits. That's something other long-term care insurance policies do not offer.

What Makes a Partnership-Certified Policy?
Partnership-approved Long-Term Care Insurance policies must meet certain requirements. The state of California and the California Partnership do not sell Long-Term Care Insurance policies. Private insurers who sell Partnership-certified policies are required to obtain approval from both the California Department of Insurance and the Department of Health Services. To qualify, a policy must include:

  • Automatic inflation protection to ensure that benefits keep pace with the rising cost of care;
  • A deductible that must be met only once in the insured’s lifetime;
  • Care coordination to assist in planning and securing the services the insured wants and needs;
  • Residential care/assisted living must be included as a benefit;
  • A waiver of premiums while the insured receives care in a nursing home or residential care/assisted living facility;  
  • Interchangeable policy benefits so that care can be customized to meet each insured’s individual needs.
  • Premium increases are limited by how much and how frequently increases can occur; and
  • Every policy includes assets protection.

As a result, Partnership-Certified policies offer the insured a unique state-guaranteed asset protection feature should the insured need to apply for Medi-Cal. For a list of the participating insurance companies, you can visit the Partnership’s website at: www.dhs.ca.gov/cpltc or call 1-800-227-3445 for free brochures.

How Does the Partnership Work with Medi-Cal?
Medi-Cal is California's version of Medicaid. It pays for health care that is not covered by Medicare, but only after the individual has spent down his or her assets to meet state and federal poverty guidelines. Without the Partnership program asset protection, you would have to spend down countable asset until only $2000 remained before you could qualify for benefits.

Asset Protection
Because Partnership policies include a state-guaranteed asset protection feature, owners of Partnership policies are protected against impoverishment due to long-term care costs. For example, if a California resident who purchases a Partnership policy exhausts the policy benefits, the state of California will allow that individual to apply for Medi-Cal while retaining assets equal to the amount of benefits received from the policy in addition to the normal assets allowed by Medi-Cal. In other words, for each dollar your Partnership policy pays in benefits - one dollar of your assets are protected when applying for Medi-Cal. Additionally protected assets are not used in any estate recovery. Asset protection applies to any asset you own, including any equity you may have in your home.

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