Empowering Consumers Through Education

posted by AHIP

on September 12, 2018

A national campaign about the benefits of long-term care coverage can help Americans plan appropriately for their financial security as they age – protecting them and state budgets.

Many Americans think they have long-term care (LTC) coverage. Most do not – making them vulnerable to sudden changes in their health that require care in a nursing home or other LTC facility.

Studies show that more than half of all Americans turning age 65 today will need LTC at some point in their lives.1 Nursing home care costs an individual approximately $90,000, and that cost is increasing by 3 to 4 percent yearly. To protect our nation’s seniors, their families, and our state budgets, America needs a more thoughtful approach to planning for the likelihood of needing LTC.

Policy Solutions That Work

AHIP strongly recommends a national educational campaign to help our nation’s seniors understand the benefits of LTC coverage. We applaud previous education campaigns, which include:

  • The Own Your Future Awareness Campaign
    This joint effort between the Department of Health and Human Services and state governments, which ran from 2005-2010, was designed to raise awareness about LTC and encourage LTC financial planning. Twenty-four states plus the District of Columbia participated in the campaign, which included mailings from the state’s governor; several communications to raise awareness about LTC risks and costs; a free Long-Term Care Planning Guide; and calls to action that encouraged residents to consider their future LTC needs. The campaign reached approximately 20 million households nationwide. More than 1.5 million guides were distributed.
  • The National Clearinghouse for Long-Term Care Information website
    This site was launched in 2006 to help Americans actively engage in financial planning for LTC. The website provides in-depth information about the risks and costs of LTC, the importance of planning, and the public and private financing options that are available. The Clearinghouse website supplemented and supported the Own Your Future Awareness Campaign.

Post campaign analysis revealed that a well-researched education and awareness campaign is critical to building support and enabling consumers to take personal responsibility for their future LTC needs. Individuals who received the Guide or visited the website were more likely to take some type of LTC planning action after the campaign than those who did not.2

AHIP is committed to working with federal and state government leaders to expand these or similar efforts, which will better inform consumers about the valuable protection that LTC coverage provides. Through this essential education, we can make great strides in ensuring that America’s seniors have affordable, high-quality coverage, choices, and care while protecting states from additional budget burdens.

1 HHS, ASPE Issue Brief on Long-Term Services and Supports for Older Americans, February 2016.
2 The SCAN Foundation, The Own Your Future Long-Term Care Awareness Campaign: Implications for CLASS, Spring 2011.

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