Boomers Recognize Need for Long-Term Care, But Fail to Obtain Coverage

A recent study of Baby Boomers finds that while the Boomers have experienced the struggle their parents are facing with long-term care, few are doing anything to acquire their own coverage. The results of the survey show that more needs to be done to educate and motive Baby Boomers to seek long-term care coverage sooner, rather than later.

The online survey, conducted by the research firm of Mathew Greenwald & Associates, was taken by 1,073 Americans between the ages of 46 to 64. The survey revealed that personal experiences, such as the current economic hardship or watching their parents age, have inspired many Boomers to take hold of their financial future, including seeking out long-term care coverage.

“This study explored the influence a parents’ long-term care experience can have on their Boomer children,” said Mathew Greenwald, of Greenwald & Associates. “Boomers overwhelmingly say they learned the consequences of being unprepared, however very few currently have long-term care insurance. Even though Baby Boomers face a more than seven in ten chance that they will have some long-term care needs later in life, many haven’t connected the risk to their own personal situation.”

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The survey’s findings exposed powerful recognition of the benefits of having long-term care insurance among Baby Boomers – mainly for financial and emotional benefits such as protecting their families from paying, providing peace of mind, ensuring retirement savings remain, and helping with the ability to leave an inheritance.

Approximately 72 percent of Baby Boomers whose parents had used long-term care insurance said it was a “good value” for reasons such as increasing quality of life, preserving the parents’ nest egg, and lessening the family’s financial contribution to care. Of those Boomers whose parents did not have long-term care coverage and needed it, 71 percent think that coverage would have benefited their families.

The study found that while more than half of the surveyed Boomers worry that they will need long-term care themselves, only 9 percent of these Boomers have actually purchased long-term care coverage. Many signs point to the fact that Boomers do not fully understand how long-term care financing works and do not grasp the concept of paying now and benefiting later on in life.

Ultimately, the survey does show the generalized lesson Boomers have learned from their parents. It seems that a parents’ penchant for future planning is passed to their children. Boomers with parents who had the prudence to purchase long-term care insurance are more likely to own coverage for themselves than those with parents who did not purchase long-term coverage. Of the Boomers surveyed who already owned long-term care insurance, 17 percent had parents who had also purchased coverage, while only 7 percent did not have parents with coverage.

Written by Kelly Mellott

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  • Is this surprising? Hardly. The policies are difficult to understand and it is poorly marketed. There is much misunderstanding about how the benefits work in light of Medicaid and other benefit programs.

    Although we are sensitive to increased longevity and its costs, others are not. In the middle of the most difficult recession since the Great Depression, spendable dollars are at a greater premium. The situation should turn as the economy recovers and those looking at retirement begin to see more available funds

  • Are you kidding. The expense that is involved would be to costly in todays dollars first of all and secondly how can one be convinced that these institutions are going to be around when you need the care?

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