Consumer researchers at the National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information have come up with new numbers to continue a long-running saga: The story about Americans’ failure to think much about the possibility that they or loved ones might need long-term care (LTC).
The center — an arm of Genworth Financial (NYSE:GNW) — recently published an early glimpse of the results from a survey of 1,213 U.S. adults 18 and older conducted in July.
The center found that, as central bankers continued to hold interest rates low, and insurers continued to wrestle with efforts to update private long-term care insurance (LTCI) rates set decades ago to reflect current thinking about underwriting reality, consumers continued to be hungry for ideas about how to handle future LTC expenses.
- Only 11 percent of the participants said they have LTCI.
- Only 19 percent knew roughly how many adults are likely to need LTC services during their lifetime.
- 85 percent agreed that long-term care is something non-elderly people ought to think about.
- 74 percent said they would be willing to skip one restaurant meal per month to pay for private LTCI coverage.
What can agents and brokers — who may normally focus on selling products other than LTCI — do with those numbers?
Here are three ideas that you could try discussing with the people who review your outreach efforts.
1. Go to school.
Sign up for any elementary school or middle school parent e-mail-based discussion group, and you will see that the parents are starting to think hard about long-term care for their own parents.
They are talking about the challenges involved with helping their own parents find assisted living facilities, “breaking down the house” and long-distance caregiving. Most of them are young and healthy themselves — great prospects for stand-alone LTCI and related products and services, such as life-LTC hybrids, annuity-LTC hybrids and caregiver support services.
Get together with a gerontologist, nursing home manager or LTC case manager who believes in the importance of LTC planning and use the new survey data and data from other sources to give LTC planning readiness seminars for parent groups.