Most policymakers and experts agree the U.S. needs to do a better job of addressing the rising demand for long-term care services and supports for our senior population. But how? That was one of the key questions at the annual Gerontological Society of America Conference, last month in New Orleans.
As our aging population increases and health care shifts towards an aging-in-place approach, long term care issues become increasingly important. According to USA Today, some 70 percent of seniors will need help with care at some point. How much and when depends on many related factors – chronic disease management, socioeconomics, access to care, housing, age-friendly neighborhoods, caregiving, prevention, transportation, cognitive function, frailty, quality of life, provider reimbursement and of course, cost of care. There are dozens of angles for journalists to pursue.
Should we leave it up to private insurers? Create a new entitlement? Form some type of hybrid? How should it be regulated, if at all?
While The CLASS Act would have addressed many of these questions, it was sacrificed in the final version of the Affordable Care Act. So, what now? Wally Roberts, who attended the GSA conference, developed this tip sheet that highlights why some private insurance consultants don’t see long-term care insurance as a viable option and what happens after the bipartisan Federal Commission on Long Term Care – whose mandate was to come up with a replacement plan – couldn’t come to consensus on how to pay for it.