1999 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare; Appropriations
By: Representative Johnson
House Bill 842
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT THE DIVISION OF MEDICAID SHALL CONDUCT A PROGRAM TO INFORM AND EDUCATE THE PUBLIC ABOUT THE FINANCIAL RISKS POSED BY INCREASING LONG-TERM CARE COSTS, THE LIMITS AND RESTRICTIONS ON GOVERNMENTAL COVERAGE OF LONG-TERM CARE COSTS, THE NEED FOR FAMILIES TO PLAN FOR THEIR LONG-TERM CARE NEEDS, AND THE BENEFITS OF OBTAINING LONG-TERM CARE INSURANCE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE DIVISION SHALL CONTRACT WITH ANOTHER ENTITY TO CARRY OUT THE PROGRAM, TO THE EXTENT POSSIBLE; TO PROVIDE THAT THE PROGRAM SHALL BE FUNDED WITH FUNDS APPROPRIATED TO THE DIVISION FOR FISCAL YEAR 1999 THAT ARE SURPLUS FUNDS; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) The Legislature finds that:
(a) The baby boom generation is beginning to retire, and as the number of retirees continues to grow, the funding needed for social security and Medicare will put an increasing strain on the financial resources of younger Americans.
(b) In the coming decade, people over age sixty-five (65) will represent twenty percent (20%) or more of the population, and the proportion of the population composed of persons over age eighty-five (85), who are most likely to be in need of long-term care, may double or triple.
(c) With nursing home care now costing an average of Thirty Thousand Dollars ($30,000.00) to Forty Thousand Dollars ($40,000.00) per year, long-term care expenses can have a catastrophic effect on families, wiping out a lifetime savings before a spouse, parent or grandparent becomes eligible for Medicaid.
(d) Many people are unaware that most long-term care costs are not covered by Medicare and that Medicaid covers long-term care only after the person's assets have been exhausted.
(e) The use of private long-term care insurance has the potential to protect families from the catastrophic costs of long-term care services while, at the same time, easing the burden on Medicaid as the baby boom generation ages.
(2) The Division of Medicaid shall conduct a program to inform and educate the public:
(a) About the financial risks posed by rapidly increasing long-term care costs;
(b) That Medicare does not cover most long-term care costs;
(c) That Medicaid covers long-term care costs only when the beneficiary has exhausted his or her assets;
(d) About the need for families to plan for their long-term care needs; and
(e) That long-term care insurance can help protect families from the catastrophic costs of long-term care services.
(3) The Division of Medicaid shall contract with another public or private entity to carry out the program, to the extent possible. The program shall be funded with funds appropriated to the division for fiscal year 1999 that will not be needed by the division to meet its expenses during the remainder of fiscal year 1999.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.