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New National Study From AHIP Examines How Consumers Think About Long-Term Care Coverage

by Kristine Grow

January 13, 2017

Analysis looks at trends over the past 25 years

WASHINGTON, D.C.  – America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) has released a new study that takes a look at how today’s consumers, age 50 or older, are preparing for their future long-term care needs.

Prepared for AHIP by LifePlans, Inc., “Who Buys Long-Term Care Insurance? Twenty-Five Years of Study of Buyers and Non-Buyers in 2015-2016” caps 25 years of study of the long-term care marketplace. It includes socio-demographic information about those who buy coverage and those who do not, compares their opinions and attitudes about long-term care insurance, and looks at trends in the products they purchase. Among the findings:

  • Those who buy long-term care insurance are planners. They look ahead to the possibility of needing nursing home care or home care in the future. Approximately one-third of those who buy say that protecting their assets was the single most important reason for making a purchase.
  • Buyers are looking for predictability and stability. Nearly two-thirds of buyers said that the number-one reason they purchased a plan now is because they expect the cost of insurance to increase in the future.
  • Consumers would welcome help from their employers. About 60 percent of respondents said they would be more interested in learning about long-term care coverage if it was sponsored by their employer.
  • Comprehensive policies continue to grow. In 2015, 96 percent of long-term care policies covered both nursing home and home care.
  • People are more frequently buying shorter-duration plans. This provides them with greater flexibility in planning for their future. In addition, because shorter-duration policies better reflect how these plans are used, this trend helps to control long-term care coverage costs for everyone.

“Our findings reflect that consumers continue to be satisfied with their choices for coverage, and that today’s plans offer solid protection for those looking for greater financial stability,” said Susan Coronel, executive director of product policy for AHIP.

This study follows a recent survey commissioned by AHIP of consumers who have claimed benefits under their long-term care policies. In that survey, conducted by LifePlans, nearly 90 percent of respondents were satisfied with the amount of coverage they purchased. For every 100 people who filed claims, only two were likely to have a disagreement about coverage that was not solved to their satisfaction.