NU Online News Service, April 13, 2004, 6:11 p.m. EDT – Many AARP members are still unfamiliar with long term care insurance.[@@]

AARP, Washington, hired Woelfel Research Inc., Vienna, Va., to survey 1,006 of its New York state members in March to help shape debate about New York state Medicaid LTC budget proposals.

Researchers found that 27% of the survey participants said they had LTC insurance. Another 47% of the participants said LTC insurance is too expensive, and 9% said they doubt they will need LTC coverage.

But the researchers also found that 16% of AARP members said they had never considered the possibility of buying LTC insurance.

Only 25% of the AARP members surveyed were aware of the New York State Partnership for Long-Term Care, a program that gives state residents financial incentives to sign up for private LTC coverage.

Other survey results:

- 11% of the participants would prefer to get long term care from a nursing home or an assisted living facility.

- 83% of the participants would prefer to get long term care at home, with support from some combination of relatives, friends and home care professionals.

- 83% said access to LTC information from a centralized source is very important.

- 83% said access to objective LTC provider quality ratings is very important.

- Most New York state AARP members surveyed oppose a budget proposal that might require couples to spend all but $5,400 of their assets to qualify for Medicare home care benefits.