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A breath of hope for private LTC insurance. (News Notes).

Two new studies add a breeze to the sails of the becalmed long-term care insurance market. In a study released by the American Society on Aging (ASA), 71% of respondents age 45+ said it was very important to have some type of private or government coverage for long-term care, yet only 17% had long-term care insurance to cover their potential needs. The Index of Long-Term Care Uninsured, compiled by the Long-Term Care Financing Strategy Group, had similar findings: While 85% of Americans over age 45 do not have public or private insurance for long-term care, 16% over age 65 do have private coverage. Joyce Ruddock, vice-president of long-term care at MetLife and founder of the LTC Financing Strategy Group, says the latter figure demonstrates, "that education about Medicare and the fact that it does not cover longterm care is having an impact."

Ignorance of long-term care financing options still abounds, however, as highlighted by the ASA survey. For example, 62% of respondents had at least one serious misconception about who provides long-term care coverage or the conditions under which it's offered. More than 40% were unaware of Medicare's limited role in paying for long-term care, and 46% erroneously believed their health insurance would cover the costs. Many consumers seem to be unwilling to deal with future needs: Half of the respondents agreed with the statement, "Longterm care is something I won't need until I am older, and I don't want to think about it now."

The LTC Financing Strategy Group is a nonprofit, nonpartisan think tank to address long-term care financing issues and offer solutions, and its study was based on U.S. Census and Medicaid data. The ASA study was conducted by and funded by State Farm Insurance.
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Title Annotation:long-term care
Author:Edwards, Douglas J.
Publication:Nursing Homes
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Jul 1, 2003
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