Almost $122 billion was spent on nursing home care in 2005, according to the Centers for Medicaid and Medicare Services. The scary part is that most Americans, 59 percent, think Medicaid and Medicare will cover assisted-living costs. To help consumers and protect state Medicaid budgets, the Center for Health Care Strategies, along with George Mason University and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services have selected 10 states to participate in a two-year initiative that will help them develop long-term care insurance options for moderate-income consumers. The Long-Term Care Partnership Expansion project will offer states technical assistance as well as $50,000 seed grants to create an insurance model that guarantees that if benefits under a Partnership policy do not sufficiently cover the cost of care, the consumer may qualify for Medicaid under special eligibility rules without having to become impoverished. The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation developed the first LTC partnership insurance model in the 1980s, and four states began piloting them in the early 1990s. This latest initiative aims to answer the question of whether LTC insurance models really save consumers and states money. A variety of resources and tools for states considering LTC partnership programs will be made available throughout the initiative. To read more about LTC partnerships, click here.