There appears to be confusion in the federal workforce regarding the effect of the upcoming premium increases in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program. In particular, questions are arising whether it would be best for someone who has been thinking of applying but has not committed, to apply before the November 1 effective date of the increases. The answer is no, because premiums aren’t changing for anyone who has enrolled since last August or who will enroll moving forward. That group—about 10,000 of the current 274,000 enrollees—currently is paying higher premiums than those who enrolled before. But that situation will be reversed in November, when the pre-August 2015 group will be hit with a much larger jump than what occurred last year for new enrollments. In both cases the increases were blamed on new calculations showing that the premiums will not cover projected future costs. The reason for the premium difference for enrollments before and after last August, OPM says, is that a large deficit has built up for those who enrolled before last August, since many of those enrollees have been in the program for many years, while premium rates for those enrolled after that point are considered sufficient to cover expected payouts. Meanwhile, still more members of Congress have called for hearings on the increase when Congress reconvenes after Labor Day.
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