According to recent research from the LIFE Foundation and LIMRA, paying for long-term care services is a top financial concern for the majority of consumers today; yet, few of them say that they own long-term-care insurance, the very product that can provide them with a financial safety net to help pay for their care. In fact, research from LIMRA indicates that less than two percent of consumers have an LTCI policy in force.
In support of Long-Term Care Awareness Month , which is currently under way, LIFE is making available new LTCI educational resources and tools to help insurance carriers and agents educate consumers about the importance of evaluating their coverage needs.
"The reality is that 70 percent of those over age 65 will require some form of long-term care, and with cost of care on the rise, it's critical that people think about their care preferences and evaluate whether they are financially prepared," says Deb Newman, CLU, ChFC, LTCP, chair of the LIFE Foundation's Board of Directors and president of Newman Long Term Care. "Far too many people rely on personal savings, their retirement fund or even family members to step in when care is needed, but those strategies are rarely sustainable. It's important that people understand the insurance options available so that if the time comes, they will have the financial independence and security they want or need."
New resources from LIFE
LIFE has developed a new consumer-friendly guide, What You Need to Know about Long-Term Care Insurance, which includes information about the benefits of having coverage, the amount of coverage that is needed, when to buy, and ways to save on premiums. Companies and agents can access the guide on LIFE's website at www.lifehappens.org or by purchasing hard copies of the guide through the organization's product catalog.
LIFE also has produced a series of educational videos covering a range of issues and LTCI benefits. The five videos are available here and include:
- Protecting My Assets
- Avoid Becoming a Burden to My Family
- Obtaining High Quality Care
- Advantages of Buying Early
- Achieving Peace of Mind
Consumers’ LTCI ownership and preferences
In addition, LIFE, in partnership with LIMRA, has released new research that examines consumers’ financial concerns and their LTCI ownership and preferences. According to the 2012 Insurance Barometer Study:
- The majority of consumers are concerned with paying for long-term care services. Paying for long-term care services is a top financial concern for nearly 6 in 10 consumers (59 percent).
- Consumers recognize the need for coverage. Two-thirds of consumers believe that "most people" should have LTCI and half of them believe they "personally" should have coverage.
- A gap exists between stated need and ownership of long-term-care insurance. Despite the belief that LTCI is important, only 14 percent of consumers state they own it. In actual fact, the percentage is even lower. Other LIMRA research indicates there are more than seven million LTCI policies currently in force, which is less than 2 percent of consumers.
- Long-term-care insurance ownership increases with age and income. Just 12 percent of those ages 25-44 state that they own LTCI, compared to 16 percent of those ages 65 or older. In addition, 8 percent of those with income under $50,000 state that they own LTCI, compared to 22 percent of those with income of $100,000 or greater.
- Long-term-care insurance and life insurance ownership are related. Those with life insurance are significantly more likely to LTCI than those without.
For a copy of the 2012 Insurance Barometer Study or for more information about LIFE and the resources available on LTCI, please contact Jaimee Niles at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 703- 888-4450.
By Ayo Mseka