Seal of the  State of Connecticut, Office of the State Comptroller

STATE OF CONNECTICUT

NANCY WYMAN
COMPTROLLER

OFFICE OF THE STATE COMPTROLLER
55 ELM STREET
HARTFORD, CONNECTICUT 06106-1775

MARK OJAKIAN
DEPUTY COMPTROLLER
WYMAN PROPOSES INCENTIVES FOR LONG-TERM HEALTH CARE
Contact: Steve Jensen
860-702-3308/3301
Steven.Jensen@po.state.ct.us

State Comptroller Nancy Wyman today presented legislation that would provide a tax credit to those seeking long-term care health insurance and create an interest-earning savings fund for home care expenses.

"I believe these proposals will encourage families to plan for their future long-term health care needs and reduce government's share of this growing and costly burden," Wyman said. "These bills can go a long way toward reducing the financial and emotional anxiety faced by thousands of individuals and families in Connecticut."

Wyman presented her proposals - House Bill 1451, House Bill 7333 and Senate Bill 1442 - to the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee.

Connecticut residents pay more for nursing home care than any other state in the country, Wyman told the committee, with an average annual cost of a semi-private room in excess of $100,000 a year. The state spends about $1.5 billion annually on nursing home care through Medicaid.

"As our population ages, everyone is effected by the emotional, financial and physical needs of our loved ones," Wyman said. "I believe that that care needs to cost less, both to the family and the state, and I believe it is best provided in the comfort of our loved ones homes."

The amount deposited in an individual's account, similar to the Connecticut Higher Education Trust College Savings Program, would be deducted from the participant's state income tax. Tax deductions would be limited to annual deposits of $5,000 per person or $10,000 for joint filers.

If enacted, the plan would cost the state just $160 per year in lost tax revenue or $3,200 over a course of 20 years. These modest tax revenue losses are more than offset by state savings in Medicaid costs. Delaying the need for nursing home care for two years can save the state as much as $130,000 to $150,000.

Tax revenue lost will be offset by the associated decrease in Medicaid costs. Connecticut is only one of four states in the country that has yet to pass a law that provides tax incentives for individuals seeking long term care.

The State Comptroller appreciates input on this and other issues from residents of the state. Please feel free to contact her office by phone - (860) 702-3300; mail - OSC, 55 Elm Street, Hartford, CT 06106; or, via E-mail - osc.opinions@po.state.ct.us

Learn more about the Connecticut Comptroller's Office by calling up our Internet Home Page, at the link below.

For Immediate Release
March 26, 2007

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