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Consumer LTCI education lacking

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Conventional wisdom says human beings gain in knowledge and experience as they grow older, and that holds true for many of life’s challenges. But when it comes to at least one facet of aging, adults are lacking in one area of awareness: long term care insurance. A report from Mintel points to lack of LTCI awareness and an even bigger lack of LTCI coverage.

“Overall, Americans are not educated about long term care insurance policies and their benefits,” says Susan Menke, senior analyst at Mintel. “Many people either don’t want to confront the issue of aging or they view long term care insurance as too expensive and unnecessary.”

To back up that statement, Mintel found the following data:

  • Three-quarters of U.S. adults do not have any type of LTCI coverage, and fewer than 60 percent are even familiar with it.
  • Forty-two percent of respondents said LTCI is too expensive to purchase.
  • Seventeen percent said they think they won’t have any need for it, despite studies that show nearly 50 percent of adults will need it at some point.
  • Fifteen percent are still under the mistaken assumption that Medicare or Medicaid will cover LTC costs. Carriers and advisors have a long way to go to educate the public about LTCI’s benefits. And Menke says advisors are already using one avenue that is best for reaching consumers: direct mail. “With its time-trusted format, direct mail can be a very effective vehicle for informational guides, cost breakdowns and customized advice explaining long term care insurance,” she says.

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