Survey: Many Californians Not Ready for Long-Term Care Costs
Two-thirds of California voters older than age 40 say they are worried about the potential costs of long-term care, according to aÂ new poll released Tuesday by the UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the SCAN Foundation, the Los Angeles Times' "Booster Shots" reports (Dennis, "Booster Shots," Los Angeles Times, 4/21).
According to HHS, at least 70% of U.S. residents ages 65 and older will need long-term care services at some point and more than 40% will need nursing home care for at least a short period of time.
In California, nursing home care costs an average of $6,000 per month. Part-time, in-home care costs about $1,700 per month.
Researchers surveyed 1,200 registered voters ages 40 and older and found that:
- 57% of respondents said that they could not afford more than three months of in-home care; and
- One-third of respondents said they could not afford one month of in-home care (Ferriss, "Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 4/21).
They also found thatÂ only 15%Â percent of respondents reported having long-term care insurance (Payers & Providers, 4/22).
In addition, the surveyÂ found that respondents of all income levels reported concerns over long-term care costs. About 63% of respondents with annual incomes of $75,000 or higher expressed anxiety about the costs of care.
Researchers also noted that concerns over long-term care costs spanned the political spectrum. The survey found that:
- Thirty-eight percent of Democrats, 35% of Republicans and 26% of independents say they could not pay for one month of in-home care; and
- Forty-eight percent of Democrats, 43% of Republicans and 33% of independents said they could not pay for one month of nursing home care ("Capitol Alert," Sacramento Bee, 4/21).
Prioritizing Long-Term Care Costs
The survey found thatÂ 66% of all respondents said elected leaders should prioritize efforts to provide affordable long-term care options.
About 76% of Democrats agreed that affordable long-term care should be a priority, compared with 50% of Republicans (Payers & Providers, 4/22).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.