Assembly Insurance Committee Approves Calderon Bills Aimed at Improving California’s Long Term Care Insurance Policies

Wednesday, April 3, 2019

SACRAMENTO, CA – The Assembly Insurance Committee approved three bills today introduced by Majority Leader Ian Calderon (D–Whittier). Assembly Bills 567, 1099, and 1104, aimed at improving California’s long term care insurance policies, all received bipartisan support.  

“Given the growing recognition of California’s demographic shifts, it’s critical that we research and identify strategies available to chart a successful path to long-term care stability,” stated Majority Leader Calderon.  “Long term care insurance provides financial protection for families and it is in the state’s best interest to preserve access to these products.”

The share of California’s population age 65 and older is projected to grow rapidly, becoming a larger share of the population in 2030 than children under 18. More than half of this population will need long-term care services at some point in their lives. Yet, many people are unable to save enough on their own to cover the costs of long-term care.

In the U.S., long-term care costs exceeded $225 billion in 2016, up from $30 billion in 1980.  About 8 million people in the U.S. have insurance with a long-term care option, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. This insurance product helps defray the costs of long-term care services and protects lifetime savings, which makes it an essential product for many Americans.

AB 567 establishes a Long-Term Care Insurance Task Force, convened by the Insurance Commissioner.  The purpose of the task force is to provide expert recommendations to the Insurance Commissioner, Legislature, and the Governor on the components necessary to establish a statewide long-term care insurance program in California.

AB 1104 will add two public members to the board of the California Life and Health Insurance Guarantee Association (CLHIGA). This will ensure that the interests of the public at large, not just the insurance industry, are part of the deliberations at CLHIGA. The measure also creates an assessment to fund financial oversight of long-term care insurance companies.

CLHIGA is an association of all insurance companies licensed to sell life insurance, health insurance, and annuities in California.  It was established by statute in 1991 with the intention of giving policyholders and annuitants of insolvent life and health insurance companies a “guaranteed” source of payment.

Existing law requires CHLIGA to prepare a summary document describing the general purposes of the Association. This summary document must be included in the policies insurers provide to their customers and must include a disclaimer that contains specified information relating to coverage limitations. AB 1099 would require the disclaimer to contain additional information, including a statement of the types of policies for which CHLIGA will provide coverage and the procedures for filing a complaint to allege a violation of the act.

“Given the unfortunate volatility of the long-term care insurance marketplace, Californians that have purchased these products need to be fully informed of their rights in the event of insolvency by their provider,” stated Majority Leader Calderon. “AB 1099 will ensure that policyholders can make informed decisions and protect their investments.”

Contact: Lerna Shirinian (562) 692-5858