A bill that would allow some Iowans to preserve some of their assets for future generations will be debated in the House today. The bill lets those who buy at least 187-thousand dollars worth of long-term care insurance to cover nursing home expenses keep their assets, like a home or farm. Today, nursing home residents must spend all their resources before they qualify for government-paid care. Republican Representative Dave Heaton of Mount Pleasant says the ultimate goal is to stop asset-shifting in which parents give their property to their children so when the old folks need to go into a nursing home, they have no assets left to pay for that care — so the state pays. Heaton says what lawmakers are trying to do is to encourage Iowans to buy long-term care insurance. Republican Representative Thomas Sands of Columbus Junction is a banker who’s sold long-term care insurance. Sands says long-term care insurance is improving each day, and the bill lets consumers who buy it have more control of their assets. But Sands, who is in his late 40s, says he’s “just as guilty as everyone else” because he hasn’t bought long-term care insurance for himself. By encouraging more Iowans to buy long-term care insurance should save the state money because insurance would pay for more nursing home care. The bill has already cleared the Senate and once it clears the House, it’ll go to the governor.
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