Survey Indicates Many Californians Unaware of Needs, Costs Associated with Long-Term Care
Many state residents are "woefully ignorant" about the need and cost of long-term care, according to a new survey of 1,003 residents conducted by the Field Institute. The Sacramento Bee reports that only one in five Californians were aware that nursing home care can cost up to $50,000 per year (Teichert, Sacramento Bee, 5/8). According to the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, a division of the Department of Health Services, 50% of women and 33% of men older than age 65 will spend at least some time in a nursing home, and more than half of them will stay for more than one year (Lyons, San Jose Mercury News, 5/9). However, nearly 50% of respondents believed that they had only a 25% chance of entering a nursing home. Many "misconceptions" also exist about who pays for long-term care, the Bee reports. One-third of respondents believed that they would be able pay for long-term care with their retirement savings, and one-fourth said that their children or other family members would provide the care. In addition, more than half of those surveyed believed that health insurance covered the cost of long-term care; only 10% had purchased long-term care insurance. According to the California Partnership for Long-Term Care, health insurance rarely covers the cost of long-term care. The partnership is working to educate "middle-income people" about long-term care, the Bee reports (Sacramento Bee, 5/8).This is part of the California Healthline Daily Edition, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.