By Justin Fundalinski, MBA | May 20, 2016
Now that my family is covered by a robust health insurance plan I have decided to visit the doctor for a litany of things that I have been putting off for a while (apparently high deductibles work and I have avoided the doctor for years). Don’t worry, I’m in good health. However, with all of my visits to the waiting room, long term care has come top of mind. I guess with my knowledge of LTC insurance I’ve become more cognizant of long term care situations when they pass me in my day to day life – and man oh man, a medical waiting room is a melting pot of long term care cases. As I waited for my name to be called, I found myself “Googling” incessantly to see if the person across from me was the reason long term care is so expensive. Aside from answering my questions, some tangential articles caught my interest and I thought it would be some nice information to share. Welcome to the May Newsletter- a few Long Term Care stats and a few opinions.
Handful of Medical Issues
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance reported some interesting stats in 2011. Below you will find some of the top reasons people have placed long term care claims (figures are approximate):
- 25% are due to Alzheimer’s disease.
- 10% are due to one of the four following conditions – Stroke, Arthritis, Injury, or Circulatory problems
- 8% are due to cancer.
- 6% are due to nervous system related issues.
- 5% are due to respiratory issues.
What I glean from the above stats is as follows. Far too many people don’t want to insure for long term care issues because “come hell or high-water” they will never go to a nursing home! Well, if one has Alzheimer’s (the primary cause for claims) do you think they are making any decisions about how they will receive care? No! Or, do any or all of the top causes for long term care claims even require nursing home or facility care? No! These stats simply reinforce to me that long term care is NOT synonymous with nursing home and no long term care plan (insurance or not) should be made without proper education on why somebody may need long term care.
According to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance, women make up:
- 70% of nursing home residents.
- 75% long term care community residents.
- 66% of formal and informal in home care recipients
The reasons for these outstanding statistics are fairly obvious. Women live longer than men. We all know this, but what we don’t know is that this added longevity causes more than two thirds of Americans over the age of 85 to be women. Looks to me like a pretty large demographic of long term care candidates. It becomes obvious to me why long term care insurance providers charge so much more for women than it does men. (Don’t believe me on this bias – call for some quotes, or better yet google it)
A lot of people need long term care.
According to longtermcare.gov, “70% of people turning age 65 can expect to use some form of long term care during their lives.” 70% is a daunting number and doesn’t really tell us the duration or level of care needed, but nonetheless making a plan and hedging your bets is probably a good idea.