The insurance industry still has its work cut out for it in educating the public about long term care insurance, a market research firm suggests.

Fewer than 60% of U.S. adults are familiar with LTC insurance, according to analysts in the Chicago-based U.S. branch of Mintel International Group Ltd., London.

Only 26% of the participants say they have LTC coverage.

About 20% said they don’t know why they haven’t bought a policy or said they “don’t know anything about” LTC insurance.

When the researchers explored other reasons consumers fail to buy LTC insurance, 42% of the participants cited cost; 17%, a belief that they will not need LTC insurance; and 15%, the belief that Medicare or Medicaid will cover LTC costs.

Mintel researchers found that 13% of the respondents said they would like to buy LTC insurance but just have not gotten around to it yet.

More than 66% of the people surveyed who actually had bought LTC insurance said they did so because they did not want to burden others with the cost of their care.