“The aging of America makes long term care a universal issue and risk that impacts millions of families but long term care insurance is not the universal solution for all,” explained Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. The head of the national trade group spoke earlier this week to major distributors of the insurance product. “There is a very defined segment of the population who can afford, who have the savings to protect and who can health qualify for this coverage.”
Citing a new study published this week by The Wall Street Journal, the Association director noted that only 22 percent of Americans surveyed by the publication said they had assets of $250,000 or more. “Another 18 percent had assets of between $100,000 and $250,000 which means that less than half of the mature adult American public have saved enough to cover the cost of care for a year,” Slome said.
The study noted that 37 percent of Americans over age 55 said they were “a lot behind schedule” in planning and saving for retirement. “This is the very essence of the problem we face,” Slome noted. “We have millions of people who have no plan in place, find a million excuses for procrastinating and then are forced to depend on whatever government programs exist.”
Noting that Medicaid, the federal and state poverty health program, finances 43 percent of all spending on long-term care services, Slome change is inevitable. “Individuals who rely on Medicaid for their long-term care comprise only six percent of the Medicaid population in 2007,” Slome explains, “but they accounted for nearly half of total Medicaid spending that year.”
The national long term care insurance expert urged industry leaders to continue efforts to educate the segment of the population that depending on the future availability of government programs could be quite risky. “The prime prospect for long term care insurance is someone between 55 and 65 who has saved and has assets to protect,” Slome shared. “They can purchase some highly affordable long term care insurance today to supplement some of the cost so they don’t face being financially wiped out.”
Consumers seeking information on long-term care insurance or looking to connect with a designated professional can do so via the organization’s website or should call the Association at (818) 597-3227. Established in 1998, the Los Angeles, CA-based American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance is the national association serving insurance and financial professionals who provide long-term care financing solutions.
|American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance