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Press Release

Long-Term Care Topic Of Public Hearings
Thursday, October 6, 2005
Contact:   Beth Scott
               850/ 413-2515
Tallahassee –The Florida Office of Insurance Regulation has announced panelists scheduled to participate in the scheduled hearing and panel discussion in Tampa concerning the Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) market.
Ray Spudeck, Senior Research Economist, will present the Office's study to Insurance Commissioner Kevin McCarty and the panelists before the panel discussion and public testimony begin.
Panelists include Bob Archer, Serving Health Insurance Needs of Elders/SHINE Volunteer, The Honorable Kim Berfield (H-50), Florida House of Representatives; Steven Burgess, Consumer Advocate, Florida Department of Financial Services; Marc Cohen, President, LifePlans, Inc.; Susan Coronel, Director of Long-Term Care at America's Health Insurance Plans; The Honorable Mike Fasano (S-11), The Florida Senate; Elizabeth Goldsmith, PhD, Florida State University; Curt Leonard, Southeast Region, American Council of Life Insurers; The Honorable Dennis Ross (H-63), Florida House of Representatives;  and Jeanice M. Young, RN, CLTC, Licensed Insurance Specialist, SunTrust Insurance Services, Inc.
The hearing is Monday from 10 a.m. - 3 p.m. at the Marriott Tampa Westshore, 1001 N. Westshore Blvd. Interested parties who are unable to attend may call the hotel at 813-287-2555 and ask to be connected to the Long-Term Care Public Hearing/Panel Discussion's open phone line.
A report highlighting the need for protection against skyrocketing Long-Term Care costs is divided into two phases. The first phase was a review of the overall Long-Term Care market and developing national issues with a particular focus on issues specific to Florida.  The results of the first phase, which are provided in a summary report that is available at http://www.floir.com/, show an ever-increasing need for protection against high costs but also shows consumers are not turning to LTCI for protection.
Nationally there have been significant problems with the private LTCI market including skyrocketing rate increases, contract ambiguity and availability. Coupled with these problems is concern about Medicare/Medicaid having the financial strength to continue as a backstop for seniors.