Baby Boomers Ill-Informed About Long-Term Care Insurance

A new survey from America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) shows that 25 percent of “Baby Boomers” have misconceptions about their health insurance covering long-term care expenses, and many have not thought about long-term care insurance. The data comes from ongoing survey and focus group research examining Baby Boomers’ awareness of long-term care insurance, conducted for AHIP by StrategyOne.

According to the survey’s results, 30 percent of Baby Boomers think they have long-term care coverage. This percentage is a sharp contrast with the National Association of Insurance Commissioners, which sites that only about 5.2 million Americans have long-term care insurance. This statistic — if representing solely Baby Boomers, which it does not — would represent less than 7 percent of the Baby Boomer population.

“Baby Boomers believe they have more coverage than they actually do, giving them a false feeling of financial preparedness to handle long-term care costs,” said Robert Moran, senior vice president of StrategyOne.

Additionally, only one in four Baby Boomers approaching or at 60 years old say they are “very familiar” with long-term care insurance, while 41 percent of the Baby Boomer population have not discussed long-term care in the past year.

Fifty-four percent of the Boomers think insurance companies including Medicare will pay for their long-term care, however Medicare does not cover long-term care indefinitely. In fact, Medicaid will only cover these services after individuals spend down nearly all of their assets to qualify for assistance.

“This should be a wake-up call to Baby Boomers. They aren’t factoring expenses for long-term care into their retirement planning and are missing an opportunity to protect themselves,” said Karen Ignagni, President and CEO of AHIP.

Source: America’s Health Insurance Plans, November 5, 2007
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