In the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program, every seven years, OPM is required to ask for bids to continue the program. This time there was only one bid, which came from John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company, the current contractor.
Using current data and updated assumptions, they determined that a rate increase would be needed, effective November 1. For that reason OPM is holding an enrollee decision period from July 18 through September 30, which will “give them the opportunity to review their current coverage and make decisions that allow them to accept or alleviate the premium increase.”
To help in the decision making process, Long Term Care Partners, has sent a personalized options package to all impacted enrollees, meaning:
• an enrollee who was age 79 or younger when you purchased long-term care coverage
• an enrollee who has standard FLTCIP coverage and aren’t enrolled in their Alternative Insurance Plan
• an enrollee who applied for coverage before new application rates were raised on August 1, 2015
• an enrollee who isn’t currently eligible for benefits or awaiting a decision on a pending claim
That package includes information about the three options available to you:
• a premium-neutral option to fully offset the premium increase;
• a partial increase, accepting roughly half of the premium increase along with moderate coverage reductions; or
• the full premium increase to retain the current benefits and inflation protection.
There are other options worth mentioning. For example, enrollees may elect the paid-up, limited benefit. This allows enrollees whose premium increase is beyond a certain percentage to stop paying premiums and keep paid-up coverage with reduced benefit levels. Also, enrollees may request other benefit selections – a kind of “roll your own” option. However, that may require underwriting and/or a higher premium.
If you haven’t received your package and believe you are affected, you may visit www.LTCFEDS.com/myaccount to sign into or register for a MyLTCFEDS account to review personalized options.
If you are a current enrollee who is affected by the premium rate changes, you’ll have to make your any decision to change coverage by September 30. If you don’t, your coverage will remain the same and your premiums will increase.