Following up on our post regarding the upcoming premium rate increases for the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLCTIP), I wanted to share the letter that NTEU National President Tony Reardon sent asking for congressional hearings to review the proposed FLTCIP premium rate increases and for additional oversight over the actuarial assumptions for the program, and to provide relief to enrollees.
NTEU is greatly troubled that given the overall size of the premium increases that many of us who have been enrolled in the program will be forced to simply drop coverage altogether, calling into question basic consumer protections as well as the future of the entire program. NTEU also believes enrollees need additional time to respond to the information contained in the individual packets from the insurance carrier.
As general background, last year the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) awarded, as required by law, a new, seven-year contract to John Hancock Life & Health Insurance Company to continue to be the insurance carrier for the FLTCIP program. Based upon updated actuarial assumptions regarding mortality rates, medical care usage, inflation and costs, and actual claims and investment performance, OPM has approved a massive increase in premium rates. Most of the 274,000 enrollees will experience significant premium increases as of November 1, 2016.
Every FLTCIP enrollee affected by the premium increase will receive a personalized packet that began being mailed out the week of July 18 over a several-weeks period. The mailing will inform each individual what their exact premium increase will be based upon various benefit options (benefit period and inflation options), issue age (when the person first applied and was approved for coverage), and the original plan purchased (FLTCIP 1.0 versus FLTCIP 2.0). Individuals do not need to take any action if after seeing the premium increases, they want to remain enrolled in the program at current coverage levels.
Enrollees will also be offered options to reduce coverage levels, which will result in the ability to maintain current premium levels (or lower premium rate increases than the full rate increases).
The deadline to inform FLTCIP of any interest in one of the alternative options is September 30, 2016. If enrollees do not take any action, they will simply be charged the higher premiums as of November 1st. Enrollees will not be able to elect one of these alternative options after September 30th.
Submission can be made online at www.LTCFEDS.com/MyAccount, via fax at 1-866-921-4511, or via the mail to Long Term Care Partners, P.O. Box 8330, Portsmouth, NH, 03802-9908.
General Long Term Care insurance information, as well as further details about the FLTCIP program, is available at https://www.ltcfeds.com/ or via toll-free with a trained long-term care customer service representative at 1-800-582-3337 (8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Eastern).
I will keep you updated regarding congressional developments to NTEU’s call for hearings and for relief for FLTCIP enrollees.