Worth the Price? Seniors Wary of Long Term Care Insurance

While most of the aging population cannot put a price on long term care, many understand the need for financial planning that will enable a household to pay for it. Enter: long term care insurance, a product that should have a place in the future of planning for long term care needs. 

Yet a full half of the aging population says the insurance is too expensive to be considered. 

A Thrivent Financial for Lutherans survey about long-term care planning conducted by Ipsos reveals that 51% of respondents think this kind of insurance is “too expensive,” while another 24% don’t even know what long-term care insurance is. 

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A quarter of respondents didn’t know about what long-term care insurance covers, and while more than half (52%) have heard about long-term care insurance, they weren’t aware of product specifics. 

About 17% of survey respondents aged 55 and older said they currently own a long-term care insurance policy, and the same percentage indicate they plan to buy a policy in the future. However, the remaining 66% of respondents in that age group said they don’t currently own a policy and don’t plan to purchase one.

Younger demographics seem to have a better grasp on the importance of planning ahead for care needs. In both the 18-34 and 35-54 year old age groups, 15% said they currently own a long-term care insurance policy.

More than four in ten of the 18-34 year olds (41%) said that while they don’t currently have a policy, they plan to in the future. One-fourth of the 35-54 year olds said they, too, plan to buy long-term care insurance in the future. 

As the boomers head toward retirement and lifespans keep growing, more people are expected to encounter ongoing care needs. About 70% of people aged 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lifetimes, according to the Department of Health and Human Services. 

“We often hear that cost is an inhibitor to purchasing long-term care insurance,” said Dean Anderson, product leader at Thrivent Financial for Lutherans. “In reality, though, it is often a wise financial decision.”

Written by Alyssa Gerace