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Long-Term Care

September 05, 1993

* Your article, "Medicaid Coverage for Kin in Nursing Homes Faces Curbs" (Aug. 5), explained a new federal law that makes it much more difficult for families to shelter assets when an elderly or disabled relative needs Medicaid assistance to pay for nursing home costs.

Under legislation enacted in our state, California residents who purchase private long-term care insurance policies specifically certified by the state will no longer face this financial tragedy. Rather, Californians will be able to receive Medi-Cal and still protect a dollar of assets for every dollar their private insurance has paid out for state-approved services.

This program, called the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, should get under way in the spring of 1994. Similar programs are already operating successfully in Connecticut, Indiana and New York. To be part of the partnership, private insurance policies will need to meet rigorous consumer protection standards. Because Medicaid is available as a backup payer, individuals will be able to secure lifelong protection for a fraction of what it costs today.

KEVIN J. MAHONEY

Project Director

California Partnership for Long-Term

Care, Sacramento

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