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Governor, Lt. Governor urge Minnesotans to “Own Your Future”

October 02, 2012
Initiative encourages planning for needs in older years

ST. PAUL, MN – Minnesota’s “Own Your Future” campaign officially got underway this week – a state-federal partnership urging Minnesotans to plan for the services they will need as they grow old. The initiative addresses the growing importance of long-term care planning.

Own Your Future recognizes the dramatic increase in Minnesotans who will be 65 and older by 2030 and the corresponding increase in the number of people who will need help with personal care and household tasks because of their age or disability. Own Your Future focuses on the need for people to have plan so that they can enjoy their later years the way they want.

“Planning for long-term care helps to ensure choice, control and peace of mind for the individual,” said Prettner Solon. “The sense of security and comfort that comes with having a plan is something all Minnesotans should enjoy.”

In that effort, Governor Dayton, Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon, and multiple state agencies are working together to raise public awareness in the first phase of the Own Your Future initiative. The Minnesota effort continues and builds on a federally funded Own Your Future effort implemented by 26 states between 2005 and 2009.

Letters and internet ads will direct individuals between the ages of 40 and 65 to the Own Your Future website where Minnesotans can find information on how to create a plan and find products and approaches that will allow them to prepare, save, invest and pay for long-term care services.

Because employers are regarded as a trusted source of information on the topic, the Own Your Future website includes a toolkit of information employers can share with their employees. The One Stop Shop for Minnesota Seniors, 1-800-333-2433, is also available for individuals who want to talk to experts in long-term care planning and a variety of other needs.

“Over the years, the State of Minnesota has planned for the surge of baby boomers by supporting family caregivers, providing affordable supports to older people in their communities and redesigning Medical Assistance to be as effective and efficient as possible,” said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson.

“The Own Your Future initiative is an important step in helping Minnesotans plan for and realize the best quality of life in their later years.”

Objectives of the first phase of the Own Your Future initiative are to make Minnesotans aware of the importance of planning now to identify personal and financial options to meet their future long-term needs and to increase the number of Minnesotans who have taken action to address and provide for their future long-term needs.

Later phases of the initiative will include:

  • Development of more affordable long-term care products for use by individuals who do not qualify for public programs but are not wealthy enough to self-fund their long-term care.
  • Evaluation of possible changes to Medicaid to better align with and encourage private payment for long-term care.

An advisory panel began working in June 2012 to help guide the public awareness effort, including development of the website and other materials for use by Minnesota employers, grassroots organizations and community groups from the launch this fall through 2013.  Results of the public awareness effort will be measured by website visit and post-initiative survey results.