From expanding Medicare Advantage plans, to better integrating the healthcare system, to developing government-assisted private insurance options to expand long-term care coverage for a rapidly aging middle-class population — there’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to long-term care financing.
That was the collective message of members of a Milken Institute Future of Health Summit panel speaking Tuesday at a session about “Innovative Solutions in Long-Term Care Financing and Delivery.”
Jeff Huber, CEO of Home Instead Senior Care, said there is a need for a better integrated healthcare ecosystem of payers and providers that recognizes the value of relationship-based home care. “Professional care in the home drives better outcomes and reduces healthcare costs downstream,” he said.
David O’Leary, president and CEO of US Life Insurance Companies, Genworth Financial, proposed a new approach to long-term care insurance.
The Milken Institute reports that 70% of Americans aged 65 or more years will require long-term care at some point. Recognizing that many older adults will have a need for home care and that the average annual cost for a home care service averages $54,000 in Genworth’s recent Cost of Care Survey, O’Leary outlined a public/private partnership that would see an income-based plan with a “federal backstop.”
Concurring with O’Leary’s “sliding-income-scale approach” with a federal backstop was Nora Super, senior director at the Milken Institute’s Center for the Future of Aging. She was quick to add, however, that it also is important to have innovations at the state and local level, such as the state of Washington’s Long-Term Care Trust Act.
Calling for expansion of Medicare Advantage plans was Thomas Moriarty, executive vice president, chief policy and external affairs officer, and general counsel for CVS Health.
“We need to encourage policymakers to drive this innovation, as benefits beyond clinical care such as healthy foods, transportation, etc., can lead to better outcomes and lower healthcare costs,” he said.