Long-term Care Insurance Premium Increases

 Significant premium increases coming November 1, 2016.

Significant premium increases coming November 1, 2016.

Many of you know that you're eligible for long-term care insurance as a federal employee. The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP) helps you pay for care when you are ill, injured, or disabled. Long term care is care that you need if you can no longer perform everyday tasks by yourself due to a chronic illness, injury, disability or the aging process.

Long term care isn't intended to cure you. It is chronic care that you might need for the rest of your life. This care can span years and can be expensive depending on the type of care you need and location where that care is received. For example, you might need care after a car accident, sporting accident, or disabling injury.  You also might need coverage for disease like Alzheimer's, stroke, MS, Parkinson's, or just old age or other disabling condition.

In the past, premiums were relatively stable. However, in 2010 the U.S. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved premium increases. On Tuesday OPM briefed NTEU's national office regarding yet another premium increase. If you have coverage, expect significant premium increases on November 1, 2016.

If you're currently insured and affected by the premium increase, you will receive a snail-mail packet from FLTCIP over the next few weeks.  The mailing will describe your exact premium increase for your current coverage. You need not take any action if you want to remain enrolled in the program at current coverage levels.

You will also be offered options to reduce coverage levels to keep your premium the same as it currently is or to reduce it. The deadline to inform FLTCIP of any coverage changes is September 30, 2016. Submission can be made online at www.LTCFEDS.com/MyAccount, via fax at 1-866-921-4511, or via snail-mail to Long Term Care Partners, P.O. Box 8330, Portsmouth, NH, 03802-9908.

NTEU is concerned that already-expensive long-term care insurance will soon be completely unaffordable for federal employees, and questions the viability of the FLTCIP program for the future given the overall drop in long-term care insurance carriers and current premium increases.