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Long term care insurance available

RANDOLPH AIR FORCE BASE, TX - Active-duty Airmen, some reservists, appropriated-fund civilian employees, retirees and qualified family members can still apply for the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program.

The program can help federal employees defray the costs of in-home care, nursing-home care, or assisted-living facilities for people no longer able to perform normal daily activities because of chronic-health conditions.

"Long term care insurance isn't just for old age - nearly 40 percent of people needing long term care are under age 65," said Ms. Janet Thomas, human resources specialist at the Air Force Personnel Center here. "Health insurance will cover hospitalization and medical care, but not necessarily long term care. The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program provides protection from the potentially high cost of long term care."

The FLTCIP is the largest program in the nation, she said. It is sponsored by the Office of Personnel Management and provides affordable group premiums and comprehensive benefits.

Two types of plans are available:

  • Facilities-Only Plan: This covers all levels of nursing home, assisted living facility and inpatient hospice care.
  • Comprehensive Plan: This covers everything the Facilities-Only Plan covers, plus care provided at home by a nurse, home health aide, therapist, informal caregiver or other authorized provider. Costs of adult day care centers and home hospices are covered as well.

Those eligible for the program include: Federal employees and annuitants; separated Federal employees with title to a deferred annuity; active and retired military members; active members of the Selected Reserve; retired "grey" reservists even if they are not receiving retirement pay; compensationers receiving compensation from the Department of Labor; the current spouse of an eligible person; adult children of living eligible people; parents, parents-in-law, and stepparents of living eligible people; and surviving spouses receiving a survivor annuity.

Premiums are based on applicant's age, so the sooner people apply, the smaller premium they will pay, according to Ms. Thomas. Once enrolled, coverage will not be canceled as long as premiums are paid on time and coverage can't be canceled due to age or a change in health.

For more information, call 800-582-3337, TTY 800-843-3557, or visit online at www.LTCFEDS.com. Representatives are available weekdays 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Eastern Time. (Courtesy of Air Force Personnel Center News)

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