Nobody likes to think about getting old and frail, but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says sensible folks will appreciate legislation he’s proposing that would make it easier to buy long-term care insurance.
Grassley says: "Sometimes you think of that as just nursing home insurance but it can also involve home health care and monitoring and things of that nature. The idea is to provide insurance for a continuum of care from your own home through helpful means including assisted living all the way to the nursing home."
The Iowa Department of Elder Affairs says our state has an increasing proportion of people who are aged 60 and older, while the group that is 80 and over is increasing more rapidly than any other age group in Iowa. Grassley says younger workers need to take shrewd financial action now, before they get old.
"The bill is really special from the standpoint that it lets employers offer insurance under cafeteria plans and flexible spending arrangements which means that employees could pay premiums with pre-tax dollars," Grassley says. He says the change to the current law would give workers a new option in planning for their retirement security by making long-term care more affordable. Grassley says the bill would also help, years down the road, when there’s no longer enough money in Medicare and Medicaid to support the population.
He says, "My legislation also updates consumer protection with these policies, especially focusing on weeding out ‘bad actor’ agents." A few months ago, the Iowa attorney general’s office launched a probe into complaints about the sale of long-term care insurance policies and complaints.
Iowans reported frustration with escalating premiums, bad customer service, claims being denied and other issues. U.S. Census Bureau data says Iowa’s proportion of older adults in the population exceeds that of the United States as a whole, while Iowa ranks second in the nation (behind only Florida) in the percentage of people aged 85 and older.