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November 21, 2006

Governor Rounds Promotes Long-Term Care Planning Efforts

PIERRE, S.D. - - Gov. Mike Rounds today launched South Dakota’s new Long-Term Care Public Awareness Campaign: “Own Your Future,” to help residents take an active role in planning ahead for their long-term care needs. The state of South Dakota is partnering with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), encouraging our citizens to start planning and preparing for their future long-term care.

“Long-term care needs are best met by putting an established plan in place,” said Gov. Mike Rounds. “We want to help all South Dakotans achieve the highest quality of life possible and that means encouraging them to plan ahead for an active and healthy future.”

Gov. Rounds will send approximately 74,000 letters to households containing residents who are between the ages of 45-65 promoting awareness of long-term care needs and encouraging people to order a free Long-Term Care Planning Kit. This kit features information about Medicare and Medicaid benefit packages, outlines ways to plan ahead and legal issues to consider, and provides guidance on how to assess private financing options. Federal funding will be provided for the mailing and distribution of the letters and planning kits.

South Dakota was chosen along with five other states (Georgia, Massachusetts, Michigan, Nebraska, and Texas) to participate in this round of HHS’ "Own Your Future" campaign, an education and outreach effort designed to promote long-term care planning among state residents. These six states were selected from 16 applications received in response to HHS’ invitation for proposals.

“Increased planning for long-term care is likely to increase people’s ability to remain at home with better use of their own resources,” said Department of Social Services’ Secretary Deb Bowman. “The campaign is a good start toward guaranteeing choices for countless South Dakotans who want to have more control over their long-term care service delivery options.”

To compliment the campaign and its efforts, South Dakota has developed a new website, www.OwnYourFuture.sd.gov, to enhance consumer access to long-term care information.

For more information on long-term care services and long-term care insurance, call 1-800-536-8197 or visit www.OwnYourFuture.sd.gov.