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Local insurance carrier offers long-term care discount

Finger Lakes Long Term Care Insurance Co. has joined forces with 15 nursing homes and a home-health care agency to offer a discount that could add up to $7,000 per policyholder.
The agreement erases waiting periods for Finger Lakes policyholders who choose care through the participating entities.
Finger Lakes, like most other long-term-care insurance companies, includes a waiting period in its policies.

Local insurance carrier offers long-term care discount

Finger Lakes Long Term Care Insurance Co. has joined forces with 15 nursing homes and a home-health care agency to offer a discount that could add up to $7,000 per policyholder.
The agreement erases waiting periods for Finger Lakes policyholders who choose care through the participating entities.
Finger Lakes, like most other long-term-care insurance companies, includes a waiting period in its policies. The waiting periods are akin to deductibles in traditional health insurance and are the number of days of care a customer must pay for out of pocket before the policy kicks in, said David Klein, president of Finger Lakes and executive vice president and chief operating officer of Blue Cross and Blue Shield of the Rochester Area.
Klein said most policyholders of Finger Lakes, a for-profit subsidiary of the Blues, choose a 100-day waiting period because premium costs are lower. The next largest group chooses a 20-day period.
Under the new agreements, policyholders could cut the 100 days in half or eliminate the 20-day period, Klein said. Since a typical policy covers $120 to $140 a day for nursing-home coverage, the customer could save $6,000 to $7,000.
More than 5,000 Rochester area residents hold long-term-care policies–called Care Directions–from Finger Lakes. They pay premiums averaging $1,000 to $1,200 depending on how much coverage they choose.
Klein said other insurance companies offer different discounts, but he knows of no other that is a partnership between providers and the insurer.
“It is a model for others who are already looking to this agreement for ways to establish something similar outside of New York,” he said.
Policyholders do not have to choose the participating providers for care, but they would not receive the discount if they choose another provider.
In Monroe County, the participating nursing homes are: St. Ann’s Community, the Episcopal Church Home, the Friendly Home, the Hurlbut, the Jewish Home of Rochester, Lakeshore Nursing Home, Penfield Place, St. John’s Home and Woodside Manor. Also participating is Genesee Region Home Care.
Other Finger Lakes region participants are: Avon Nursing Home, Conesus Lake Nursing Home, Elm Manor Nursing Home, Hornell Gardens, Newark Manor and Seneca Nursing Home.

RBJ Daily 6-26-96

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