One myth about long-term care is that affects senior citizens only.
In fact, the need for long-term care can arise at any age. Nearly 40% of people using long-term care services are under the age of 65, including approximately one quarter of the 795,000 annual stroke patients.
In addition, diabetes, car accidents and ladder falls are other major causes that require long-term care among younger populations.
The need for long-term care is also rising as the overall population ages. An estimated 15 million Americans will need some form of long-term care by the year 2020.
This translates to nearly three out of four Americans who are 65 and older. Today, approximately one-in-10 new long-term care insurance claims are the result of four conditions: stroke (9%), arthritis (9%), injury (9%) or circulatory problems (9%). Other major causes include cancer (8%), nervous system (6%) or respiratory issues (5%). This is according to the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.
In addition, the number of people over 85 is expected to triple to more than 14 million people by 2040, placing more strain on both the healthcare system and government programs.
Recently, the Kaiser Family Foundation issued a report called Medicaid and Long-Term Care: An Unsustainable Union because the rapid growth in populations needing long-term care and rising healthcare costs will be beyond the government’s ability to pay, even though it only covers about 16% of long-term care costs.
It’s possible that an employee could need long term care long before he or she retires. Making it part of the company’s benefit plan is critically important.