Insurance Commissioner: Continuing to protect Louisiana long-term care policyholders

In the coming weeks, Insurance Commissioner Jim Donelon will take additional steps to protect Louisiana long-term care policyholders of Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania (SHIP) from potentially disastrous rate increases or benefit reductions.

In January 2020, SHIP was placed into rehabilitation by the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania. The company is currently projected to have a $1.2 billion dollar deficit but SHIP has not yet been placed in liquidation.

In an attempt to rehabilitate the insurer, the appointed rehabilitator created a plan that the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) believes will diminish the department’s authority to protect Louisiana policyholders.

As currently proposed, Pennsylvania’s plan gives state insurance regulators only two options. The first is to allow a Pennsylvania entity to raise rates in Louisiana for SHIP policyholders, in some cases over 500%, with rates being set by a Pennsylvania court without any analysis by the LDI. The second option would reduce benefits for all Louisiana policyholders of the insurer.

“The situation is untenable for Louisiana policyholders,” said Commissioner Donelon. “Despite buying long-term care insurance to ensure their independence in advanced age and paying on their policies that are protected by state guaranty funds for decades, they now risk — at the average age of 86 — being forced into bankruptcy and put out of their current living situations. I will do everything in my power to protect these Louisiana consumers from having the guaranty fund protection rules changed at their hour of need by a Pennsylvania regulator.”

Joining with 22 other states that oppose Pennsylvania’s proposed plan, including South Carolina, Commissioner Donelon will file in Louisiana court for an injunction against the plan in an ongoing attempt to protect consumers from this insurance industry friendly proposal.

Previously, the Louisiana Department of Insurance (LDI) filed suit in federal court asking the judge to declare the Pennsylvania plan unconstitutional and block it from taking effect. That suit was dismissed because, at the time, Pennsylvania had not yet approved the plan. The Pennsylvania court has now approved the plan and that approval is being appealed to the Pennsylvania Supreme Court.

If you are a Louisiana policyholder with Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania, or have a family member with a policy, please email LDI at public@ldi.la.gov or call us 1-800-259-5300. Senior Health Insurance Company of Pennsylvania should not be confused with Louisiana Senior Health Insurance Information Program, a free program by the LDI that helps beneficiaries better understand their Medicare coverage options and benefits.

The Louisiana Department of Insurance works to improve competition in the state’s insurance market while assisting individuals and businesses with the information and resources they need to be informed consumers of insurance. As a regulator, the LDI enforces the laws that provide a fair and stable marketplace and makes certain that insurers comply with the laws in place to protect policyholders. You can contact the LDI by calling 1-800-259-5300 or visiting www.ldi.la.gov

Previous articleRefundable school readiness tax credit supports early childhood education
Next articleMelinda Deslatte to become PAR research director