Campaign Encourages Investing for Long-Term Care
State and federal officials have begun an educational campaign called "Own Your Future," which seeks to encourage baby boomers to invest in their long-term care costs, "especially when many are convinced that government-subsidized programs will take care of their needs," the Houston Chronicle reports. Nursing home care costs about $50,000 to $60,000 annually, and about two-thirds of nursing home residents currently receive at least some coverage through Medicaid.
According to the Chronicle, "If a large segment of baby boomers can't find a way to pay for their own care late in life, the drain on the government welfare program could prove devastating." The campaign recommends that baby boomers consider savings plans, reverse mortgages and long-term care insurance to help cover their long-term care costs.
About 5.2 million U.S. residents had long-term care insurance in 2005, according to the National Association of Insurance Commissioners.
However, "long-term care insurance isn't for everyone," the Chronicle reports. Long-term care insurance is expensive, with monthly premiums that range from $100 to $150 for individuals in their 50s and higher for older individuals.
Diane Persson, an expert on aging at the University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston, also said that "there are too many variables that are unknown" with long-term care insurance. She said, "You simply don't know when you do any kind of rational assessment as to whether or not it is worth paying for, because it is expensive, and the older you get, the more expensive it is" (Markley, Houston Chronicle, 1/15).