The American Academy of Actuaries is urging President Obama to appoint an actuary to serve on the new Commission on Long-term Care.

In its letter to the president, the Academy recommended the appointment of Professor P.J. Eric Stallard, an actuary and associate director for the Center for Population Health and Aging at Duke University. According to the Academy, Stallard has “more than 25 years of experience in long-term care actuarial practice, 40 years of research expertise in demographics, and extensive experience evaluating the assumptions used in cost projections of public programs.”

Members for the panel must be appointed by the end of January; the commission then has six months to make proposals to Congress. The commission was created as part of the American Taxpayer Relief Act of 2012, which was passed on January 2 in order to prevent the country from going over the fiscal cliff. The group’s goals appear to be broad and ambitious: “The commission was created to develop a plan for the design, financing, and implementation of a system that ensures access to long-term care services by all Americans.”

The Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act, which was repealed by the Taxpayer Relief Act, was an “unsustainable” effort to provide long-term care and services on the part of the country, according to David Shea, VP of the Academy's Health Practice Council.

"Actuaries possess a unique skill set and already play a crucial role in the design of long-term care systems" said Shea. "Without an actuarial perspective represented on this commission, we are concerned that the goal of creating a viable long-term care system will be unsuccessful."

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