HIAA Survey Reveals Buyer-NonBuyer Attitudes In The Group LTC Market
By Stephen Piontek
With less than 2% of workers enrolled in group long term care insurance plans, the market potential for the product is huge, says a new survey unveiled here at the annual meeting of the Health Insurance Association of America.
HIAA has previously surveyed attitudes of buyers and non-buyers of individual LTC products, but this is the first time it has surveyed the employer market, said Marc Cohen, vice president of Life Plans, Inc., the firm that prepared the survey for HIAA.
Five insurers or insuring entities–Aetna Life & Casualty, CalPERS, Medamerica, Metropoliltan Life, and UnumProvident–that represent a large share of the employer group market participated in the study by soliciting the cooperation of nine employer groups of varying sizes and type, the survey says.
Cohen said a couple of conclusions stood out from the survey. One was that the policies were perceived as “being comprehensive and providing real value” and the second was that “education that occurs at the employer level is crucial.”
In general, Cohen said, the survey showed that group enrollees “are planners and are less likely to believe the government will pay for care.”
Additionally, he said, group enrollees “perceive their risk of needing long term care to be higher than non-enrollees.” Enrollees also perceive greater personal risk for LTC expenses (in the absence of a policy), he said.
No one reason dominates among the primary reasons for enrolling, he said. But those reasons that enrolled respondents cited as most important include avoiding dependence (21%), guaranteeing affordability of services (19%), protecting assets or leaving an estate (25%), and preserving financial resources for a spouse (12%).
Enrollees also cited the psychological benefits of being insured for LTC, with 98% agreeing with the statement that having a LTC policy “makes me feel secure about the future.”
Additionally, 97% agree that having a LTC policy “makes me feel that I have planned well for my future.”