Meiners Receives Grant to Help States Develop New Approach to Long-Term Health Care Insurance

Posted: February 19, 2007 at 1:00 am, Last Updated: November 30, -0001 at 12:00 am

By Lori Jennings

Mark Meiners
Mark Meiners

Mason Professor Mark Meiners has joined a team of organizations dedicated to helping states develop a new public-private approach to long-term health care insurance that focuses on meeting the needs of consumers, private insurers and Medicaid agencies.

The Long-Term Care Partnership Expansion project, initiated by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, will be administered by the Center for Health Care Strategies, a nonprofit organization focused on quality and cost issues surrounding publicly financed health care. The project will provide up to 10 states with seed grants of $50,000 and technical assistance to participate in the process of developing a partnership long-term care insurance program.

Known as the originator of this innovative model for long-term care payment, Meiners will spearhead Mason’s involvement in the new project. He has been awarded a two-year, $100,000 subcontract to provide research and technical assistance support to help the selected states develop their programs. In 2005 Congressional testimony, Meiners successfully urged Congress to implement the program on a national level.

“This program shows real promise for completely overhauling the way we handle long-term care insurance in this country,” says Meiners. “Having seen the program work successfully in four ‘trial’ states, I am excited that we will be offer up to 10 additional states an opportunity to provide all the long-term care stakeholders – consumers, insurers and Medicaid agencies – with a win-win-win solution.”

The partnership program is designed to facilitate a state’s collaboration with private insurers in developing affordable benefit plans that help protect both consumers and state Medicaid programs. The program, which has been operative in four states since 1993, allows people to purchase long-term care policies while providing special protection for their personal assets.

The program is supported by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation as a “legacy” commitment following its multimillion dollar support for the initial pilot states developed under the leadership of Meiners. To be considered for selection, states must submit an application by Feb. 28.

For more information on Mason’s role in the project, see the Center for Health Policy Research and Ethics web site.

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