Few developed countries have done enough to insure — either through public or private programs — against looming long-term care (LTC) costs.
Joan Costa-i-Font, an associate professor at the London School of Economics, makes that argument in an article published on Vox, a website published by the school’s Centre for Economic Policy Research.
Developed countries already are spending about 1.5% of gross domestic product on LTC, and that percentage could double or triple by 2050 Costa-i-Font writes in the article.
In the United states, he says, expenditures on nursing homes, home health care and other forms of LTC already account for about 8.5% of U.S. health care spending.
Most developed countries have well-developed insurance systems for acute health care but not for LTC, he says.
That lack “leaves people in need of care having to rely either on public support when available and they qualify (after needs and means testing), or if they can afford it, to self-insure such needs,” he says.
Risk pooling through insurance programs can give people an efficient way to handle LTC costs, but many people are reluctant to participate in voluntary long-term care insurance (LTCI) programs, he says.