Sandra Timmermann — the founder and executive director of the MetLife Mature Market Institute, a think tank that disbanded in 2013 — says insurers, policymakers and others need to think more about expanding the future supply of informal care.
Players in the private long-term care insurance (LTCI) community often talk about the needs of caregivers, but the country as a whole is not paying enough attention to how much informal care older people are likely to need in the coming years, how strained family resources are, and how many people are now expecting to stay in their own homes as they age.
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The government is now pushing to help aging people stay in their own homes, but “the infrastructure and funding on the community level aren’t there,” Timmermann writes in a paper on caregiving distributed by the Society of Actuaries.
In the paper, Timmermann offers many ideas for supporting caregivers and increasing the supply.
For a sampling of her ideas, read on.
1. Create benefits aimed directly at the caregivers.
Timmermann says an insurer might be able to offer a caregiver rider along with an LTCI policy.
The policy could provide benefits for the insured’s adult or for another designated caregiver, Timmermann says.
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2. Create a short-term care (STC) caregiver benefit for people who may be providing informal care for a short period.
Timmermann says a short-term caregiver benefit could be a big help for people who will be providing for a short period, such as during the period before an LTCI policy’s benefits elimination period ends.