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Survey shows it’s time to start taking long-term care costs seriously

Survey shows it's time to start taking long-term care costs seriously

Baby boomers will continue their mass-exit from the workforce over the next decade. Many people entering their golden years will leave employers facing record job vacancies and the need for long-term care services will explode.

A recent survey found that many Americans harbor concerns and misconceptions about long-term care costs.

The survey, conducted by the Associated Press, asked 1,341 people 40 years and older about long-term care. The responses revealed that many Americans are feeling woefully unprepared and uncertain:

· 66 percent did not plan for long-term care

· 50 percent had discussed with their family about their long-term care preferences

· 33 percent saved some funds to cover nursing home or health aide costs

· 15 percent expressed confidence they’ll be able to cover ongoing living assistance when needed

The survey alarmingly found many people are misinformed about available government aid:

· 57 percent would rely on Medicare– even though it doesn’t cover most long-term care costs

· 25 percent would rely on Medicare –even though it’s only available to disabled and lower income individuals

On the topic of government aid, many felt it was time for the feds to assume a larger role:

· 56 percent felt that the federal government should make a greater effort to help with long-term care costs

· 30 percent felt that the federal government should make a moderate effort to help with long-term care costs

· 56 percent felt that Medicare should assume a major role in long-term care coverage

· 70 percent voiced support for a government-run, non-mandatory long-term care insurance program

These types of endeavors would face major opposition on Capitol Hill. The reality is we all need to start thinking more about long-term care planning.

Source: CBS News, “Poll: Most older Americans want Medicare to cover long-term care,” May 26, 2017

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