California Healthline Daily Edition

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Poll: Californians Worried About Affordability of Long-Term Care

A large number of Californians are concerned they will not be able to afford long-term health care, according to a poll by UCLA's Center for Health Policy Research and the SCAN Foundation, Kaiser Health News' "Capsules" reports.

For the poll, researchers surveyed 1,490 registered Californians ages 40 and older in June (Marcy, "Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 8/17).

Key Findings

Sixty-six percent of respondents reported they could not afford to pay for more than three months of nursing home care if they became ill, and 42% said they could not afford more than one month of nursing home care (Payers & Providers, 8/18).

According to the poll:

  • 85% of respondents said they have no long-term care protection, such as health coverage, or are not sure whether they qualify for supportive services such as in-home care (Kleyman, New America Media, 8/18);
  • 63% of respondents were concerned about their future overall health care costs (Payers & Providers, 8/18); and
  • 58% of those ages 65 and older said they were very or somewhat worried about paying for long-term care for themselves or for a family member, compared with 70% of those ages 40 to 64.

The number of Californians older than age 60 is projected to reach 12 million in the next 25 years ("Capsules," Kaiser Health News, 8/17).

Reaction

Bruce Chernof, president and CEO of the SCAN Foundation, said there is a need to make health care options for California's aging population more affordable (Payers & Providers, 8/18).

Chernof added, "We should ... be restructuring programs to meet the emerging need of a more sustainable network of home- and community-based care" (New America Media, 8/18).

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