Legislative Corner

In the Senate: LTC & Retirement Security Act of 2001* (Proposed bill to give tax breaks for buying LTC insurance)

The Senate Finance Committee Tuesday, March 27, introduced a plan to give families tax breaks for buying long-term care insurance. Senate Finance  Chairman Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, along with Finance Committee Democrat Bob Graham introduced the "Long-Term Care and Retirement Security Act of 2001,"  S. 627, in the Senate. House sponsors of the bill include House Ways and Means Subcommittee Chair Nancy Johnson, R-Conn., and Ways and Means Democrats  Karen Thurman, Fla., and Earl Pomeroy, D-N.D. According to witnesses at the Finance Committee hearing, however, the government needs to do more. Nursing home care costs an average of $55,000 a year, but 80 percent of  the people who need that level of help are in their own homes, being cared for by family members, professional nurses or community groups, health experts told the panel. The Senate tax-credit plan would let taxpayers deduct the full cost of long-term-care insurance premiums, which can cost about $1,000 a year for a 65-year-old policyholder and twice as much for an 80-year-old. The bill also gives a $3,000 tax credit to sick individuals or their caregivers. The tax bill's supporters, who include older people's organizations and insurance industry groups, say it will help ailing seniors afford better care.

Source:  Senate Finance Committee (27 Mar 2001)
Full story: http://finance.senate.gov/hr032701.htm

* To download a copy of the bill, go to: http://thomas.loc.gov and enter Bill Number S.627 (or H.R. 831 for House bill)


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