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Life Health > Long-Term Care Planning

Fear, Confusion Hold Back Long-Term Care Planning: OneAmerica

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What You Need to Know

  • About 70% of consumers over age 40 have heard of stand-alone long-term care insurance.
  • Fewer than half have thought of using a life insurance policy or annuity with LTC benefits.
  • Even many caregivers have frozen in place.

Many older Americans who could plan for long-term care services and costs are too scared or confused to do so, according to new data from One America.

The Indianapolis-based insurer commissioned a survey of 978 U.S. adults ages 40 and older.

About 28% of the survey participants said they have not talked about long-term care planning with anyone at all.

Here’s how often participants discussed the topic with other types of people:

  • Friends: 18%
  • Financial services professionals: 18%
  • Insurance agents: 9%
  • Doctors: 7%
  • Social services or senior services professionals: 2%

What It Means

November is Long-Term Care Awareness Month, and the need for conversations about long-term care planning is still there.


OneAmerica sponsored the survey because it sells life insurance policies and annuities that offer long-term care benefits.

The company found that 70% of the survey participants were familiar with stand-alone long-term care insurance, 39% with life-LTC hybrids, and 24% with annuity-LTC hybrids.

Here are the participants’ implementation rates for four LTC funding strategies:

  • Building up ordinary retirement planning arrangements: 37%
  • Stand-alone long-term care insurance: 12%
  • Life-LTC hybrids: 7.8%
  • Annuity-LTC hybrids: 1.6%

Barriers to Planning

OneAmerica survey participants cited practical obstacles for not planning, such as the cost of long-term care insurance and competing financial priorities.

OneAmerica did not try to assess how difficult it would be for the participants to overcome those obstacles.

The participants also listed other obstacles that might be easier for an advisor, agent or another financial professional to address:

  • Unwilling to leave home: 31%
  • Lack of information about care options: 15%
  • Too many long-term care options to consider: 11%
  • Do not know where to look for information: 10%

The results suggest that financial professionals might be able to get some consumers’ attention simply by emphasizing that they can help clients plan to stay in their own homes, rather than implying that long-term care planning means nursing home care planning.

The CLTC Survey

The new OneAmerica survey has come out a few weeks after a survey of 400 family caregivers that was sponsored by Certification for Long-Term Care, an LTC planning education program, and Home Instead and Homethrive.

CLTC found that, although 47% of the family caregivers it surveyed had planned for their own long-term care needs, 17% had not done any planning. About 29% of the non-planners said the topic of their own care was “too hard to think about.”

About 33% of all of the caregivers who participated in that survey said they might talk to a financial planner to prepare for retirement, and 33% said they might buy long-term care insurance.

About 38% of the caregivers who had used paid care for their loved ones said they had talked to a financial planner, and 38% said they had bought long-term care insurance.

CLTC noted that survey participants’ reports of owning long-term care insurance may be inaccurate because analyses of general population surveys have shown that the percentage of Americans who say they have long-term care insurance tends to be much higher than the percentage of Americans who actually own long-term care insurance.



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