The Importance of Long-Term Care Insurance for Federal Workers

Long Term Care Insurance of Federal Workers

Long-term care encompasses a range of services and aid for individuals necessitating help owing to extended physical illness, disability, or cognitive limitations.

This care involves assistance with daily tasks such as bathing, dressing, eating, and managing medication. As time progresses, a significant portion of the population will find themselves in need of extended care.

Federal employees possess the opportunity to enrol in the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program (FLTCIP).

This initiative offers insurance coverage for long-term care, mitigating the potentially steep expenses associated with these services. The possession of such insurance holds tremendous value for federal workers due to several compelling reasons:

It Covers a Wide Range of Care Services 

The FLTCIP covers care in a variety of settings including at home, in assisted living facilities, adult day care centers, hospice facilities, and nursing homes. It pays for skilled, intermediate, and custodial care. Some plans even cover home modifications, medical equipment, and more.

Premiums Never Increase

Once you enroll in the FLTCIP, your premium payments will never increase just because you get older or your health declines. Premiums are based on your age when you enroll. This makes budgeting for long-term care costs much easier.

Portable Coverage 

Your FLTCIP coverage goes with you even if you retire or change federal agencies. It provides portable long-term care insurance you can rely on.

It Integrates With Other Benefits

The FLTCIP coordinates with other programs like Medicare, Medicaid, VA benefits, and more. It helps fill coverage gaps and makes claiming benefits simpler.

Why Long-Term Care Insurance Matters for Federal Employees

There are several key reasons why getting long-term care insurance is critical for federal employees:

The High Cost of Care

Long-term care is expensive, with costs averaging $50,000 to $100,000 per year for nursing home care. Assisted living and in-home care costs can also quickly add up. Having insurance helps pay these substantial costs so you don't drain your savings.

Your Retirement May Be at Risk

Without insurance, long-term care expenses could quickly deplete your TSP retirement savings and other assets. This can leave you financially devastated in retirement. 

Your Family Could Bear the Burden

If you don't have insurance, the responsibility of paying for your care often falls on your loved ones. This is an unfair burden for them to bear. Insurance helps ensure you can pay for your own care.

Federal Benefits Have Limits

While programs like Medicare, Medicaid, and VA benefits provide some long-term care coverage, they have strict eligibility requirements and coverage limits. Insurance helps fill these gaps.

You May Need Care for Years

Many people require long-term care for years due to lengthy illnesses like dementia. Insurance provides comprehensive coverage for extended periods of care.

Overview of the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program

The Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program provides affordable long-term care insurance to eligible federal employees, retirees, active and retired members of the uniformed services, and qualified relatives. Here is an overview of some key details:

  • Administered by Long Term Care Partners: The FLTCIP is sponsored by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management and administered by Long Term Care Partners.
  • Competitive Bidding: Insurance carriers bid for contracts to provide coverage under the program. This competitive process results in affordable group rates.
  • Three Plan Options: You can choose from three benefit plan options depending on your budget and needs.
  • Nationwide Coverage: FLTCIP provides coverage across the country so you can receive care wherever you live.
  • Guaranteed Issue: No medical underwriting is required. As long as you meet the eligibility criteria, you are guaranteed coverage. 
  • Portable Plans: Your coverage goes with you even if you change jobs or retire.

The FLTCIP offers comprehensive long-term care insurance while taking advantage of the buying power and efficiency of a federal program. This makes it an appealing choice for federal employees seeking coverage.

FLTCIP Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for coverage under the FLTCIP, you must meet certain eligibility criteria:

  1. You must be a federal or U.S. Postal Service employee, active or retired member of the uniformed services, or qualified relative.
  2. Retirees must have retired under the Civil Service Retirement System or Federal Employees Retirement System and meet the 5-year service requirement.
  3. You must be age 18 and over.
  4. You must pass a few health screening questions.
  5. Relatives like spouses, domestic partners, parents, and parents-in-law also qualify. Disabled adult children may be eligible too.As long as you meet these requirements, you can enroll without undergoing medical underwriting. Many private long-term care insurance policies require extensive health evaluations. Avoiding underwriting is a major advantage of the FLTCIP.

Overview of FLTCIP Benefit Plans

The FLTCIP offers three main benefit plan options. Review the details to choose a plan that fits your needs and budget:

Basic Long Term Care Insurance Plan

This is the most affordable plan. It covers care if you're unable to perform 2 or more of 6 Activities of Daily Living (bathing, continence, dressing, eating, toileting, and transferring). It pays benefits for covered long-term care services up to the maximum lifetime benefit amount.

Standard Long Term Care Insurance Plan 

This mid-range plan covers if you can't independently perform 3 or more of the 6 Activities of Daily Living. It pays higher daily benefit amounts than the Basic plan.

Comprehensive Long Term Care Insurance Plan

This is the most robust coverage option. It covers if you're impaired and require substantial supervision due to a severe cognitive impairment like Alzheimer's disease. The maximum lifetime benefit is unlimited.

When enrolling, you choose a daily benefit amount, inflation protection option, and lifetime maximum benefit. Higher amounts and levels of inflation protection increase your premiums. Evaluate your finances and care needs when selecting a plan.

FLTCIP Benefits and Features

The FLTCIP provides extensive benefits and features to make using your coverage easier:

  • No Waiting Period: Many LTC insurance policies have waiting periods before benefits start. The FLTCIP pays benefits on day 1 as long as eligibility requirements are met.
  • International Benefits: You maintain coverage even when traveling overseas.
  • Alternative Treatments: Benefits cover alternative services like chiropractic, acupuncture, and massage therapy with a doctor's prescription.
  • Stay-at-Home Benefit: You don't have to enter a nursing home to qualify for benefits. Care at home is fully covered.
  • Respite Care: Get paid benefits for short-term care so unpaid family caregivers get a break. 
  • Bed Reservation: Keep your nursing home room reserved for up to 60 days per year while hospitalized or away.
  • Waiver of Premium: Premiums are waived if you're receiving long-term care benefits.
  • Upgrade Option: Increase your coverage every 2 years without underwriting.

Make sure to research all of the benefits and features. They make the FLTCIP a flexible and valuable investment.

How Much Does FLTCIP Coverage Cost? 

FLTCIP premiums are competitive compared to private market options since insurers bid for contracts. Premiums are also level and will never increase just because of age or declining health. Here are some sample 2023 premiums:

Basic Plan:

Age 50: $165 per month

Age 60: $250 per month 

Age 70: $455 per month

Standard Plan:

Age 50: $235 per month

Age 60: $350 per month

Age 70: $640 per month

Comprehensive Plan:

Age 50: $375 per month

Age 60: $560 per month 

Age 70: $1,025 per month

These amounts apply to the total lifetime benefit of $396,000 with 5% compound inflation protection. Daily benefit amounts, inflation protection, and lifetime maximums impact your actual premium costs. Use the FLTCIP cost calculator to estimate your specific rate.

Purchasing coverage at a younger age results in lower premiums overall. Federal employees gain access to group rates and cannot be rejected for preexisting conditions. This makes buying early especially advantageous. 

How to Enroll in FLTCIP Coverage

To get FLTCIP coverage, you must enroll directly through Long Term Care Partners. Here are the steps to take:

  • Check your eligibility: Confirm you meet the eligibility criteria for FLTCIP coverage. 
  • Review the benefit options: Use the cost calculator and benefit descriptions to choose a benefit level.
  • Complete the application: Apply online or download and mail a paper application.
  • Schedule your phone interview: Talk with a Long Term Care Partners representative to complete enrollment.
  • Pay your premium: Pay your first month's premium to activate coverage.
  • Designate beneficiaries: Name beneficiaries for your policy benefits.

Purchasing FLTCIP coverage now helps ensure you'll have benefits in place if long-term care needs arise. Consult with Long Term Care Partners to get your important questions answered.

Using Your Federal Long Term Care Insurance 

When you actually need long-term care down the road, how do you access your FLTCIP benefits? Here is the process:

  • Check benefit eligibility: Confirm you meet the qualification criteria for the plan's benefits.
  • Select a care provider: Choose an approved nursing facility, assisted living community, home health agency, etc.
  • Complete the assessment: Your doctor or a care coordinator will assess your condition and care needs. 
  • Submit a claim: Work with the care provider to submit a claim to Long Term Care Partners.
  • Plan benefits activated: Once approved, your coverage will start paying out benefits up to your policy limits.

It's a good idea to maintain contact with Long Term Care Partners as you age. They can provide guidance on using your benefits when the need arises. Don't wait until you actually need care to learn about accessing your coverage.

Reasons Federal Employees Should Consider FLTCIP

There are many compelling reasons why long-term care insurance through the FLTCIP makes sense for federal employees:

Affordable group rates that are competitive and level

Guaranteed acceptance regardless of health 

Portable coverage that stays with you for life

Wide range of covered benefits including home care

Coordinated claims that make accessing benefits simpler

Peace of mind knowing you've planned ahead

Federal workers have access to group long-term care insurance that is typically only available through an employer plan. Take advantage of this valuable benefit.


Coping with long-term care needs is difficult at any age, but especially so in retirement. Purchasing insurance coverage now helps ensure you'll have financial resources to pay for quality care. For federal employees, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program offers access to competitive group plans without complicated underwriting.

Take advantage of this excellent benefit option. Getting a policy with the right amount of coverage allows you to protect your retirement savings and avoid burdening loved ones.

Contact Long Term Care Partners today to review your FLTCIP plan options. With affordable rates and comprehensive benefits, you can make sure you're prepared for the long-term care needs that may arise with aging.

Frequently Asked Questions

Still, have questions about long-term care insurance for federal employees? Here are answers to some common queries:

Can I keep my FLTCIP plan if I leave federal employment?

Yes, your coverage stays with you even if you switch federal agencies or leave federal work entirely. The plan is completely portable.

Does the policy cover long-term care outside the United States?

Yes, FLTCIP benefits can be used worldwide as long as the care provider meets the program's eligibility criteria.

When will my benefits start?

There is no waiting period - you start accruing benefits from the very first day you're eligible for care if your claim is approved.

Is the insurance premium tax-deductible?

Yes, you can count your FLTCIP premiums as deductible medical expenses on your federal taxes.

What does underwriting involve for family members?

Simplified short-form underwriting requiring just a few health questions is used for spouses and adult children.

Getting long-term care insurance through the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is a smart move for federal employees. Take time to explore all of the coverage options and enroll at the age that will provide you with the most savings on premiums. Having a policy in place will give you and your family invaluable peace of mind.

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