Happy couple with long term care insurance

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Partnership programs give people an added incentive to buy long term care insurance.

The long term care insurance partnership program was created to encourage people who normally would rely on Medicaid for long term care expenses, to purchase long term care insurance. The state managed programs initially started in California, New York, Connecticut and Indiana. 

Partnership policies provide additional benefits, with the primary benefit being that you can protect a certain amount of your assets from having to spend them down in order to qualify for Medicaid. Some states offer a dollar-for-dollar asset protection, meaning if you receive $100,000 of benefits from your policy, then $100,000 of your assets may be protected from the Medicaid spend-down requirements. Other states have total asset protection and some offer both. The California long term care insurance partnership may have slight differences from the New York program. 

Policies sold as partnership policies must meet certain criteria including federal tax qualification, inflation protection provisions and consumer protection. They must be certified by the state, and the agent who sells the policy must have received any certification or training as required by the state. 

When getting long term care insurance quotes ask about partnership policies in your state. You can also visit your state's insurance department Web site for more information. 

Before buying any long term care insurance policy, make sure you fully understand what you are getting. You may want to get a second opinion from your financial adviser.

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