According to the California Department of Insurance, most Californians cannot afford nursing home care – at an average cost of $6,000 per month – and are worried about the cost of growing older. Purchasing a long-term care insurance policy is one solution to this dilemma facing an aging California population. Long-term care insurance can be invaluable to elderly persons who can no longer care for themselves. These insurance policies typically cover nursing home costs and in-home care at your own residence if you are unable to care for yourself. But even if you are one of the lucky few that has LTC insurance, unfortunately, we regularly see long-term care insurers that do not honor their policy obligations.
The California legislature recently created a Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force within the Department of Insurance. California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara just appointed six members to the Task Force with preeminent credentials. The Task Force will explore how to design a statewide affordable long-term care insurance program including whether an increase in payroll taxes might allow for the program to be publicly subsidized. An article on the Task Force is copied below. You can learn more about the Task Force at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/03-appointments/ltcitf.cfm#about.
Hopefully, the Task Force will result in long-term care insurers honoring their contract obligations more frequently. That is doubtful in our opinion. That is not the goal of the Task Force. Moreover, insurers are in the business of making money. To do that successfully, an insurer must take your premiums and pay out as little in claims as possible. In our experience, Department of Insurance actions usually do not change an insurer’s conduct in a particular claim.
So, what should you do if your long-term care insurer wrongfully denies your claim? Relying on this new Task Force will not change your claim denial, and the Task Force is not even scheduled to create a potentially publicly subsidized long-term care insurance program for several years. You should hire an experienced California insurance bad faith or ERISA lawyer to represent you. If your claim for long-term care, long-term disability, life, accidental death, retirement or health benefits has been denied, you can call (949) 387-9595 for a free consultation with the attorneys of the McKennon Law Group PC, several of whom previously represented insurance companies and are exceptionally experienced in handling both ERISA insurance claims and non-ERISA California insurance bad faith claims.