McCormack Speaks

A Deeper Look at Long-Term Care Insurance


Professor Marc Cohen has spent many years following the market for long-term care insurance – from its days of broad-based popularity to its current appeal among primarily affluent policyholders. Cohen recently talked about that market and ideas about how insurance coverage could change in the future. The following is an edited version of his comments.

picture of a stethoscopeWhy should people care about long-term care insurance, especially if the potential risk may be many years away?

That’s a real challenge. A lot of people misunderstand LTSS and most believe incorrectly the government pays for care, or they don’t understand government pays for care only after people impoverish themselves. For most, the risk is 30 to 40 years in the future and about half will not develop significant long-term care needs. But the risk is highly unpredictable for an individual. You don’t know if you’re going to be struck with Parkinson’s or dementia. Most people also underestimate the cost of home care or nursing homes.

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