Mrs. SHAHEEN. Mr. President, 10 years have passed since the first consumer enrolled in the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program, an insurance option for Federal employees, retirees and their loved ones created by the Long-Term Care Security Act. This law set a new standard regarding providing for the unique and important medical needs of seniors and individuals with disabilities. Participants in the program are now confident that they will receive help financing the care that they may require. I am pleased to recognize the 10th anniversary of the first enrollment in this important program, and I am proud that its administration is handled by Long Term Care Partners, LLC, which is located in my home State of New Hampshire.
Today, 1 in 10 Americans aged 55 and older carries a long-term care insurance policy; however, it is estimated that 70 percent of people over age 65 will eventually require long-term care. Our Nation's changing demographics and significant medical advances have contributed to an aging population, and addressing the issue of how best to care for seniors and individuals with disabilities should be part of our national discourse on how we support ourselves and our families. These services are critical for so many Americans who need assistance to continue living independently and actively in their communities.
The Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program was the first benefit offered to the Federal workforce that was completely employee-funded, coming at no cost to the taxpayer. The program is unique in that, at the time of its inception, it was the first benefit offered uniformly to all Federal employees, including military personnel and staff of the U.S. Postal Service. It is also the Nation's first successful large-scale, long-term care insurance program with consistent benefits, regardless of where the recipient lives.
With nearly 270,000 enrollees, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program has made a difference in the lives of so many in the Federal workforce. It is the largest group long-term care insurance program in the country and has already paid nearly $215 million in claims. The program helps its beneficiaries stay where they are most comfortable, with more than 85 percent of these claims going to home and community-based services.
Every family needs to plan for retirement and how to best care for aging loved ones and those with disabilities. Long-term care insurance is one way that millions of Americans get the support they need to remain independent and active in their communities. For Federal employees, the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program is an important option that provides a sense of security and comfort in knowing that family members will be cared for in times of need.
I stand today to recognize the Federal Long Term Care Insurance Program's 10th anniversary and to wish the program continued success as it embarks on its second decade of assisting Federal employees and their families in planning for their retirements.