Purchasing a Partnership Policy

If you are interested in purchasing a Partnership policy, please contact a financial advisor, insurance agent, insurance broker, attorney or a participating insurer (Participating Insurers). To see a list of insurance agents and brokers who are certified to sell Partnership policies, see the List of Partnership-Certified Agents. The State Partnership office does not sell policies; it is responsible for the administration of the program and its Medicaid Extended Coverage component.

Things to Consider Before Purchasing Partnership Insurance

•  How much can you afford to pay out-of-pocket for long-term care expenses? Keep in mind the elimination period and the difference between the daily cost of care and the daily benefit amount of the policy.

•  How much can you afford to pay for an insurance policy covering long-term care services? Keep in mind the 20% New York State tax credit. The state will support New Yorkers' efforts to plan for the future by paying 1/5 of the bill for their long-term care insurance premiums, including children who pay for coverage on behalf of their parents when they file a New York State income tax return. There is also a federal tax deduction where the premiums charged for tax-qualified policies are treated as medical expenses for purposes of itemized deductions up to certain dollar limits that are indexed annually.

•  If you are planning to retire, will your reduced income be enough to pay the premium?

•  All long-term care policies are medically underwritten, (i.e., your physical/mental condition and health history will be evaluated) so, if you intend to purchase a policy, don't wait until you have a medical condition that could make long-term care coverage more expensive or unavailable.

•  In most cases, the premium for a policy will be lower when purchased at a younger age.

•  What types of long-term care services would best meet your own personal needs and preferences? What are the costs of these services in the locality where you would be receiving them?

Insurance Company Ratings and Stability

When selecting an insurance policy, you are also selecting an insurance company and you may wish to know how stable that company is financially. Many firms rate the financial soundness of insurance companies. Some provide the ratings free while others charge a fee, ranging from a small fee for an online rating to a larger amount for quarterly reports. Each firm has a different rating scale and firms may differ in the conclusions they reach about a specific insurance company. Therefore, you may wish to check with more than one firm before selecting an insurance company. Listed below are some of the firms that rate insurance companies along with their phone numbers and web addresses:

A.M. Best Insurance Review
1-908-439-2200 ext. 5742
www.ambest.com

Fitch Ratings
1-800-75-FITCH
www.fitchratings.com

Moody’s Investor's Service
1-212-553-0377
www.moodys.com

Standard & Poor’s
1-212-512-3108
www.standardandpoors.com

Financial Stability and the Department of Financial Services

One of the New York State Department of Financial Services' primary functions is overseeing the financial stability of insurance companies. A company's financial stability helps to assure the consumer that the company will be there to pay claims in the future. Few company failures have occurred in the past, and the Department remains confident that the statutory and regulatory framework currently in place will continue to afford the consumer the greatest protection and the least disruption to their coverage. When necessary, the Department will work with an insurer to take all reasonably feasible actions to rehabilitate its financial situation, including supervision of the reinsurance or sale of one or more blocks of business.

To date, New York has not experienced a company's financial failure involving long term care insurance. Several published opinions by the Department have concluded that the Life Insurance Company Guaranty Corporation is applicable to long term care insurance policies issued by life insurance companies authorized to transact accident and health insurance in New York. Under this guaranty fund, life insurance companies that are members meet their obligations to the guaranty fund by offering coverage to those individuals who lose coverage under the insolvent firm. The coverage may or may not be the same as the prior coverage. This fund applies only to insurers organized as life insurance companies. More information regarding the guaranty fund can be found at their web site www.nylifega.org.

Tips From the Partnership Office

•  Please shop wisely. Compare policies based on your needs, preferences and where you would be receiving long-term care services. Compare premiums based on how much you can afford to pay for an insurance policy.

•  Make sure the Partnership logo is on the front page of your policy.

•  It is important that you read and understand the Consumer Participation Agreement before choosing to participate in the Partnership. To see what these documents look like, see Consumer Participation Agreements. If you decide to participate in the Partnership, you must sign this Agreement and the original signed Agreement must be returned by your insurer to the Partnership office within 30 days of the date you sign it. Keep a copy of the signed Agreement in a safe place with your other important documents.

•  Visit the Partnership website regularly to see our quarterly newsletter and to answer any questions you may have.