A new federal law that will take effect next year offers a progressive approach to long-term care coverage.

The law, which will be applied in about 20 states, will allow residents to purchase simplified, long-term care coverage. If that coverage runs out, they could qualify for Medicaid, even if they have more than $2,000 in assets, according to a report in the South Florida Sun-Sentinel. Currently, a person must have less than $2,000 to be Medicaid-eligible.

Only private insurers who are certified by states to sell the long-term care plans are permissible under the law. Insurers must meet mandatory state standards. Several issues still have to be determined, such as the cost of plan premiums. It is also unclear whether a partnership plan purchased in one state will be valid in another state.