Don’t look now, but something new and unusual is happening around the long-term care insurance category: It’s finally getting some deserved attention.
Whether it’s because of a concerted industry public-service campaign, demographic shifts, rising concerns about health-care policy or all of the above, there are signs that LTC insurance is beginning to capture more mindshare within the consumer marketplace.
Among the signs: a recent surge in news articles, anecdotal observations from LTC agents, and some fresh research signaling that more people – and younger people in particular – are paying attention.
On the news media front, a recent scan of national news headlines turned up dozens of published articles about LTC from prominent newspapers and magazines within a span of only a few days in November. Among the headlines:
- Why you need a plan for long-term care (San Francisco Chronicle, Nov. 7)
- As America ages, issue of long-term care emerges (Baltimore Sun, Nov. 6)
- Long-term care insurance provides peace of mind (Memphis Commercial Appeal, Nov. 6)
- Time to address nursing home nightmare (Toronto Sun, Nov. 7)
To be sure, part of the credit for the elevated press interest goes to the 3 in 4 Need More Campaign, the industry-backed, not-for-profit public awareness effort dedicated to promoting the importance of planning for long-term care needs. But broader demographic and attitudinal forces also play a role.
One of them has to do with the aging U.S. population, and the corresponding rise in the number of people who have dealt with long-term care issues for someone they know.
A 2011 study released by Prudential, for instance, found that knowing someone who has required long-term care services greatly increases concern about an individual’s own needs. The Prudential study, drawn from surveys of 983 U.S. adults, found 78% of those who know someone who required long-term care services are concerned about their needs for long-term care, versus 58% of those with no experience.