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News Release

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, March 09, 2006
Contact: Michael Orenstein
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Testifies to the Health of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program

Program is among the largest, group long-term care insurance programs in the nation

Washington, D.C. -- Members of Congress today heard about the health of the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program, which covers residential and at-home care for current and retired federal employees enrolled in the four-year-old program.

"This is among the largest, group long-term care insurance programs in the nation," said Robert F. Danbeck, OPM's Associate Director for Human Resources Products and Services. "This is a true success story."

Testifying before the Senate Special Committee on Aging, Danbeck said nearly 211,500 members of the extended federal community were enrolled in the program at the end of February 2006. In addition to current and retired federal employees, qualified relatives and active and retired members of the uniformed services also can apply for coverage.

The Federal Long Term Care Security Act, which authorized the government's program, was signed into law in September 2000 after receiving strong bi-partisan support in the House and the Senate. Enrollments began in 2002.

Danbeck acknowledged the challenges of educating people on the potential value of "yet another" insurance policy. He said OPM has learned that "multiple exposures" to the product, juxtaposed against the actual cost of long-term care, convinces people to take a second look.

"Some people are hesitant to purchase long-term care insurance because of its expense," said Danbeck. "Long term care itself is even more expensive, of course. I personally would rather pay for long-term care insurance and never need it, than find I need it but don't have it."

Danbeck referred to a side benefit of the federal government's offering of long-term care insurance. He believes the product is one piece of a comprehensive package of benefits that will help attract a "high-caliber work force."
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Our mission is to Recruit, Retain and Honor a World-Class Workforce to Serve the American People. OPM supports U.S. agencies with personnel services and policy leadership including staffing tools, guidance on labor-management relations and programs to improve work force performance.


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