More than half of the consumers who participated in an international survey sponsored by AARP, Washington, said they were worried about long term care costs.[@@]

Harris Interactive Inc., Rochester, N.Y., surveyed 4,011 adults between the ages of 30 and 65 between May 9 and June 2. The participants were residents of Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Netherlands, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States.

Although governments in all 10 countries help cover retiree medical costs, researchers found residents of all countries included in the survey expressed concern about rising health care costs, and participants were especially nervous about the cost of long term care, AARP researchers write in a report on the survey results.

Respondents said they believe government-sponsored health programs will pay for most or all of their health care in retirement. About 47% of the said these programs will pay for most or all of their acute care and long-term health care in retirement, and only 17% said government will play no role in paying for their care.

But 35% said they believe their own savings will pay most or all of their acute and long-term retirement health care costs, and 31% of U.S. residents predicted that the government will pay for none of their retirement health care costs.

Only 12% of the survey participants predicted that family members or caretakers would pay most or all of their acute and long-term retirement health care costs.

Only 55% of the participants said they were very or somewhat confident about their ability to pay for long term care costs in retirement, in LTC payment confidence levels were about 15 percentage points lower than confidence levels for ability to pay for acute health care in retirement.

The percentage of participants who were confident about paying for long term care ranged from 64% in the Netherlands and Canada down to 35% in Italy. About 54% of U.S. participants said they were confident about being able to pay for long term care.