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A Long-Term Care Market Snapshot

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What You Need to Know

  • Typical consumers think they will have an easy time getting and paying for care.
  • Many think they will get care from loved ones.
  • Few feel prepared to provide care for loved ones.

We face a huge gap between what consumers think about long-term care and how long-term care really works.

That came out last month in Raleigh, North Carolina, at the Intercompany Long-Term Care Insurance Conference.

The speakers at one great session — Chris Orestis, from Retirement Genius; Tafa Jefferson, from AMADA Senior Care; and Bill Comfort, an agent and CLTC trainer — had a lot to say about the gulf between attitudes and reality.

Tafa said his busiest time is after the holidays.

“That’s when families have been together and see where an aging parents needs help,” he said. “Ninety percent of people who come out of the hospital have a non-medical need, and that’s when they need to hire a home care aide.”

Bill said, “Consumers are in denial. We need to find a way to proactively raise the subject.”

Chris came in with the numbers, from recent attitude surveys and industry updates.

Here’s a look at some of the survey data Chris shared.

1. People say they feel confident about their own future, but:

  • 85% predict that they won’t need care.
  • 67% expect to receive care from a loved one within five years.
  • 16% feel prepared to provide care for a loved one.

2. People are thinking more about long-term care insurance in their future before, but:

  • 62% say they would be prompted to purchase LTCI after a health crisis (when they might not even qualify to buy coverage).
  • 33% have looked into LTCI for a loved one.
  • 17% have looked into LTCI for themselves.

3. People don’t want to be a burden on their family, but:

  • 82% believe they will be able to afford and get the care they want when they want it.
  • 78% underestimate or overestimate the cost, or have no idea what the cost of care will be.
  • 64% have done little or no planning.
  • 40% lack confidence that they can cover the costs if they live 10 years beyond their expected life expectancy.

Margie BarrieMargie Barrie, an agent with ACSIA, has been writing the LTCI Insider column since 2000. She is blogging about long-term care planning with Chris Petillo, and preparing to launch an LTC podcast series, at Faegre Drinker’s LTCi Summit website.

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(Image: Khongtham/Shutterstock)