The Minnesota Department of Human Services provides Minnesotans with a variety of services intended to help people live as independently as possible.
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Loren Colman, assistant commissioner for the DHS Continuing Care Administration, recently shared what Minnesota is learning as it conducts a campaign to urge more of its citizens to plan to pay for the long-term care most will need as they grow old.
U.S. Department of Health and Human Services officials asked Colman to serve on a technical panel on the future of long-term care insurance in June in Washington. The panel’s purpose was to explore how long-term care insurance could expand from being mostly a niche market product for healthy, high-income and high net worth people to a product that can lessen the risk of long-term care costs for a broader segment of the population.
Colman provided updates on Own Your Future, the campaign DHS has spearheaded to increase Minnesotans’ awareness of the costs of long-term care and how they can plan to pay for it.
“With the dramatic increase in the numbers of older people in coming decades, it’s imperative that Minnesotans and others plan better for the care they are likely to need as they age,” Colman said. “This is important not only to sustain public resources for those who need them most but to provide the choices for long-term care that baby boomers will want.”
Own Your Future continues to work to increase public awareness of the issue and is now in the process of identifying more products that are affordable and suitable for the middle-income market. A third component of the campaign is to look at ways to align eligibility for Medical Assistance--which many Minnesotans use to finance nursing home care and other services in their later years--with incentives to privately pay for long-term care.