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5 top LTC risk awareness drivers

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Researchers at the University of Minnesota have tried to quantify just how much various factors affect the likelihood that people will recognize that they are likely to need long-term care (LTC) services.

See also: LTC community fights for eyes.

Carrie Henning-Smith and Tetyana Shippee have published the article, behind a paywall, in Health Affairs, an academic journal that focuses on health care finance and health care delivery systems.

They used statistical analysis methods — logistic regression models — to tease information out of the 2012 Integrated Health Interview Series results.

Managers added questions about LTC services and supports to the program in 2011, and survey workers ask the LTC questions of all adult participants ages 40 to 65. Henning-Smith and Shippee had detailed survey results for 11,796 people.

By using regression models, the researchers were able to estimate how much various factors, such as living arrangements and educational attainment, affected the likelihood that the participants would say that they expected to need LTC services.

See also: Hawaii seeks long-term services and support awareness proposals.

Other studies have suggested that about 70 percent of older Americans will eventually need some form of formal or informal LTC services, but only about 15 percent of the participants said they thought they were very likely to need long-term care.

To learn what factors affected the likelihood that survey participants would think they were very likely to need long-term care, read on.

Student

5. Has at least a bachelor’s degree: 1.23 times more likely.

One factor that could be useful to agents and brokers selling private long-term care insurance (LTCI) or other financing arrangements that rely at least partly on medical underwriting is education.

Well-educated survey participants were about 23 percent more likely than others to recognize the risk of needing long-term care.

See also: Gray science: 4 lessons from LTCI research.

A woman with her head in her hands

4. Is in serious psychological distress: 1.65 times more likely.

Apparently, people who worry about other aspects of life also worry about needing long-term care.

See also: 8 new facts about LTC caregivers who suffer.

Diabetes test pen

3. Is already in fair or poor health: 1.96 times more likely.

Issuers of products such as some types of annuities may like doing business with consumers who are already seriously ill, but insurers may be less excited about applicants who know they’re in poor health.

See also:Elder care planning: An important part of the long-term care message. 

Couple

2. Has had a close relative who needed LTC services for at least a year: 1.98 times more likely.

Whether having a close relative who has needed long-term care affects a client’s ability to buy medically underwritten products will, of course, depend on how the client is related to the person who needed long-term care. 

See also: New campaign backs caregiver awareness.

Burning house

1. Already has any activity limitation: 2.08 times more likely.

Of course, people who are “already burning houses” are not of interest to issuers of standard long-term care insurance or other products in which good health reduces claims, but they may be candidates for products that make their current resources last longer, or for help with understanding and using government programs.

See also: 12 countries: Who in the world can afford nursing home care?