According to a recent survey of 1,004 individuals born between 1960 and 1980, roughly Generation X, many expect their family or the government to provide care or funding for care as they age. Here are some of the more interesting statistics from the study, released by America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), an association of health insurance providers with a mission to expand access to health care.
- Among survey respondents who do not own long-term care insurance, 36% plan on relying on government assistance, like Medicaid, to finance their long-term care.
- 55% of respondents within Generation X plan to rely on a family member for providing long-term care. 10% will rely on a visiting nurse and 9% believe they will live in an assisted-care facility.
- 95% of Generation X do not own long-term care insurance, and over half of those who are not covered do not realize that health or disability insurance most likely does not cover long-term care.
Today, long-term care in a nursing home in the United States carries an average annual cost of over $70,000 (according to AHIP). I can only imagine that just like health care costs, this price tag will continue to climb faster than the rate of inflation.
I’m not currently covered by long-term care insurance, but I decided to take a look at what is offered at my current employer. They offer their own group long-term care insurance. They have four separate plans based on coverage level. The first level would cover nursing home care up to $100 per day or home care up to $75, with a lifetime maximum of $182,500. The level offering greatest coverage would cover nursing home care up to $250 or home care up to $188, with a maximum of $456,250. There are two intermediate levels of coverage, as well.
Based on AHIP’s annual cost of $70,000 of a nursing home, I decided to look into the $200 per day coverage. My first thought is inflation. If I need long-term care, it will most likely not be for forty or fifty years, maybe more. After five decades of inflation, I think the daily cost of long-term care is going to be much more than $200. I am surprised that something basic, coverage adjusted for inflation, is offered at an additional premium.
According to my company’s calculator, I would pay $22 per month starting now for coverage at $200 per day once I enter the assisted care facility. But if I want my coverage adjusted by 5% every year, the premium jumps to $81.20 per month. The projected lifetime premium payments jump from $13,992.00 to $51,643.20.
If the cost of long-term care rises at that same 5% annual rate for fifty years, I could be looking at a daily cost of over $2,000 a day! A $200 daily benefit won’t help much if that is the case. Why both with coverage that is not adjusted for inflation?
Do you have long-term care insurance? Or do you plan to rely on family or government?
You can download AHIP’s survey results here [ppt].
Updated December 20, 2011 and originally published February 13, 2009.