NAIFA's experienced staff and volunteers engage decision makers at every level of the legislative and regulatory system.
Issues & Positions
The National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC) recently sent a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA) stating that the addition of LTC benefits to Medigap policies could make such coverage cost prohibitive for most Medicare beneficiaries. In June, Chairman Neal requested that the NAIC look into the feasibility of adding an LTC benefit to Medigap policies. In his letter to the NAIC, Neal cited studies estimating that the number of individuals age 65 and over in the United States will increase to about 98 million by 2060, and many of these individuals will need critical long-term care services. The NAIC concluded that the Chairman’s suggestion of requiring an LTC benefit would lead to significant premium increases, stating that “…this proposal could price many Medicare beneficiaries out of the marketplace.” In addition to higher premiums, the NAIC Task Force also concluded that a requirement to add LTC benefits to Medigap plans would lead to fewer carriers offering the coverage and adverse selection. The NAIC also emphasized to the House Ways and Means Committee the role of the states in effectively regulating Medigap plans and insurance coverage generally. The NAIC did however submit a list of proposed federal policy changes to encourage the purchase of LTC coverage including enacting more generous tax incentives and permitting employees to obtain LTCI through their employer “cafeteria” plans. NAIFA supports the NAIC policy recommendations.
ISSUES & POSITIONS
Long-Term Care Insurance can be vital in addressing our nation’s long-term care needs, particularly with an aging “boomer” generation that could eventually overwhelm our nation’s already financially strained government programs. It is imperative that Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) play a significant role in the financing of long-term care services. LTCI can ensure that significant personal care expenses that often occur with advanced age are met without burdening one’s family or depleting other financial assets. Contrary to popular misconception, Medicare does not cover the cost of custodial care, and Medicaid generally supports low-income individuals.
NAIFA supports proposals at the federal and state level to increase consumer options in the long-term care insurance (LTCI) market and incentivize individuals to purchase LTCI coverage. Congress should enact legislation that could facilitate access to long-term care insurance coverage, such as amending federal law to permit workers to buy LTCI with contributions to their employer-sponsored “cafeteria plans” or flexible spending accounts (FSAs). Helping people plan for their long-term care needs by allowing them to purchase LTCI coverage at their place of employment should be part of our nation’s answer to the long-term care financing challenge. We believe this will enable workers to manage their long-term care expenses in an affordable manner.
At both the federal and state level, NAIFA has long supported tax incentives to encourage individuals to purchase LTC coverage. Tax incentives for the purchase of long-term care insurance coverage would help ensure Americans can maintain their independence and protect them from devastating long-term care costs. More importantly, this would demonstrate the government's commitment to private coverage as an alternative for Americans to use for funding their own future LTC needs, lessen reliance on scarce public dollars and help promote individual responsibility.
Since enactment of the Deficit Reduction Act (DRA) in early 2006, which authorized the LTC Partnership Programs, NAIFA supported state efforts to participate in the program as a way of encouraging individuals to purchase LTC coverage.
NAIFA and industry coalition partners successfully lobbied to repeal the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports (CLASS) Act, a government-run long-term care insurance program, embedded in the Affordable Care Act. The CLASS Act was a financially unsound program that would have collapsed and required a large taxpayer bailout. NAIFA supports policies that will ensure a vibrant LTCI private market.
NAIFA is the only group representing insurance agents and advisors to participate in Federal Interagency Task Force on Long-term Care Insurance discussing policy recommendations at the federal level to complement reforms by the states relating to the regulation of long-term care insurance.
NAIFA-back Senior Safe Act signed into law strengthening financial protections for seniors and removing barriers that might otherwise discourage the reporting of suspected exploitation to authorities
President signs into law a provision to eliminate Free Choice Vouchers which would have been damaging to employer group health plans and HHS suspends the CLASS (public LTC) program
COLI best practices adopted, tax-free charges against cash value to pay for LTCI premiums, LTC Partnerships and State High Risk Pool Funding
Permitted use of qualified HSAs payments for long-term care expenses and LTCI premiums
HIPAA provisions classify long-term care costs as a medical expense and categorize long-term care insurance as accident and health insurance thereby providing clarity as to the tax treatment of premiums and benefits
THE LEGISLATIVE ACTION CENTER
The Legislative Action Center will provide you with tools to contact your federal legislators on a variety of issues, as well as learn more about bills in the House and Senate that NAIFA Government Relations is monitoring.
If you know your member of Congress in the U.S. House or Senate, let us know so we can add you to NAIFA's growing list of politically active agents.
Take action in our Advocacy Action Center! Find information on your Congressional leaders and easy ways to engage that create real impact.
ABOUT NAIFA ADVOCACY
Federal Government Relations
NAIFA engages directly with members of Congress and their staff to build and maintain relationships to ensure our interests are fairly represented and positively influence policy.
State Government Relations
NAIFA engages directly with state legislators and insurance commissioners to build and maintain relationships, help shape policy and serve as a resource of information.
NAIFA engages with state and federal regulators to advance our positions in the rulemaking process.
NAIFA's political strength is rooted in the geographic diversity of its membership. Building personal relationships between NAIFA member constituents and lawmakers creates a long-lasting path to political power in the US Congress and state legislatures.
NAIFA Political Action Committees
NAIFA's federal and state PACs work to protect the interests of advisors on Capitol Hill and in all 50 state capitals. NAIFA PACs are supported by NAIFA members and eligible NAIFA employees who make voluntary personal contributions that supports the campaigns of candidates for public office who understand issues important to insurance agents and financial advisors.