Fact Sheet: President Clinton Enacts Legislation to Provide Long-Term Care Insurance to Federal Workers (9/19/00)

President Clinton Enacts Legislation to Provide Long-Term Care Insurance to Federal Workers; Urges the Congress to Act Now to Assist All Families with Long-Term Care Needs

September 19, 2000

Today, President Clinton will sign into law the Long Term Care Security Act, which authorizes the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to negotiate with private insurers to offer more affordable, high-quality, long-term care insurance policies to Federal employees, retirees, and their families. This initiative will provide a new insurance option to 13 million Americans, and will serve as a model program for private employers throughout the nation. The President will also urge the Congress to take additional legislative steps this fall to provide assistance to the millions of Americans of all ages who currently have extraordinary unmet long-term care needs and who can not purchase private long-term care policies at any price. Specifically, he will call on the Congress to pass his $3,000 tax credit for the chronically ill; to reauthorize and strengthen the Older Americans Act by adding a new caregivers initiative; and to pass a long-overdue and voluntary Medicare prescription drug benefit.

MILLIONS OF AMERICANS HAVE LONG-TERM CARE NEEDS

ENACTING NEW LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE OPTION FOR FEDERAL EMPLOYEES. The legislation President Clinton will sign today, the Long Term Care Security Act (HR 4040), provides the 13 million Federal employees, retirees, and their families with a new option to purchase non-subsidized, quality private long-term care insurance. The new insurance options will cover a range of services at group rates, including home health care, adult day care, and nursing home care. This legislation allows OPM to use its purchasing power to negotiate savings of 15 to 20 percent on commercial long-term care insurance rates and to ensure that such products meet high quality standards. It will establish the Federal government as a model employer and provide private-sector companies with a model for offering quality long-term care insurance. Because employers are only beginning to learn how to provide these benefits to their workers, only about 4 million Americans 1.5 percent of all Americans have private long-term care insurance. OPM anticipates that approximately 300,000 Federal employees will participate in this program.

CHALLENGING THE CONGRESS TO PASS INITIATIVES TO HELP AMERICANS WHO NEED LONG-TERM CARE ASSISTANCE NOW. The Administration's long-term care initiative, unveiled by President Clinton and Vice President Gore, First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton and Tipper Gore, includes:

BUILDS ON THE NEW NURSING HOME INITIATIVE RECENTLY UNVEILED BY THE CLINTON-GORE ADMINISTRATION. Today's announcement builds on President Clinton's recent action to improve nursing home quality nationwide. The initiative: (1) invests $1 billion over 5 years in a new grant program to increase staffing levels nationwide and improve quality of nursing home care; (2) imposes immediate penalties on nursing facilities placing residents at risk and reinvests these funds in the new grant program; (3) directs the Health Care Financing Administration to establish national minimum staffing requirements and complete recommendations for appropriate reimbursement within two years; (4) helps families make informed decisions by providing accurate information on staffing levels; and (5) launches a new campaign to identify and prevent unintended weight loss and dehydration among nursing home residents.


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