California Insurance Commissioner Ricardo Lara has announced his six appointments to the new Long Term Care Insurance Task Force, established within the California Department of Insurance by legislation that he strongly supported to help address the long-term care services and insurance needs of older Californians.
“Our new Long Term Care Insurance Task Force will explore greater options for Californians to help them age with dignity and security,” said Commissioner Lara. “With their deep experience in insurance, culturally competent care and services, and the health needs of older Californians, these Task Force members are ready for the challenge of envisioning a statewide insurance program that is sustainable and meets the needs of our growing diverse population. The health disparities exposed by the current pandemic on our aging population and the services and supports they will need in coming years make this Task Force even more critical today.”
The 15-member Task Force includes the Insurance Commissioner, who will serve as its Chair, as well as the Director of the California Department of Health Care Services (DHCS) or his designee, the Director of the California Department of Aging or her designee, six individuals appointed by the Commissioner, four individuals appointed by the Governor, one appointment made by the Speaker of the Assembly, and one appointment made by the Senate Committee on Rules.
Created by the legislative passage and Governor Gavin Newsom’s signing of AB 567 (Calderon, Chapter 746, Statutes of 2019), the Task Force will, under Commissioner Lara’s leadership, explore how a statewide long-term care insurance program could be designed and implemented to expand the options for people who are interested in insuring themselves should they encounter functional or cognitive disability that requires long-term care, services, and supports.
“The lack of affordable long-term care is a serious threat to the well-being of many Californians, and yet another symptom of the systemic inequities in our health and social support systems,” said DHCS Director Will Lightbourne. “I’m pleased to join this task force and work on solutions that will increase access to long-term care and help provide healthy and dignified lives for our aging populations.”
Over the next two years, the Task Force will meet to discuss establishing a statewide long-term care insurance program and prepare a feasibility report for the Commissioner, the Governor, and the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2023. The recommendations made by the Task Force in the feasibility report will then be analyzed in an actuarial report to ensure an adequate benefit within a solvent program which, if approved by the Task Force, will be submitted to the Legislature by Jan. 1, 2024.
“Affording the care we need as we age, so we can live where we choose in the community, is a top priority for the thousands of Californians we heard from in developing the Governor’s Master Plan for Aging, released in January,” said California Department of Aging Director Kim McCoy Wade. “Innovative public-private leadership and partnership, such as this new Task Force provides, are essential to developing effective and equitable solutions. I’m eager to work with Commissioner Lara and members of the Task Force to move this important work forward.”
The first meeting of the inaugural Task Force is expected in early spring 2021. More details are available at http://www.insurance.ca.gov/0500-about-us/03-appointments/ltcitf.cfm.