NPR on Informal Long Term Care

(cross posted at freeforall)

NPR has an interesting story asking “who needs LTC insurance?” because other arrangements can be made to provide for such care (h/t Brad Flansbaum).

This puts a personal face and story on a public policy problem that hits close to home, as my mother-in-law is moving in with my family this Summer. The last 8-9 months my family has been consumed with myriad details to work this out (estate planning, new wills, buying a house, trying to sell two others, getting siblings on the same page, etc). I wrote last week on some of the public policy aspects of LTC; I mostly want to point folks to the NPR story, as it is the best, short representation of the many issues related to thinking through inter-generational living that I have heard.

Author: Don Taylor

Don Taylor is an Associate Professor of Public Policy at Duke University, where his teaching and research focuses on health policy, with a focus on Medicare generally, and on hospice and palliative care, specifically. He increasingly works at the intersection of health policy and the federal budget. Past research topics have included health workforce and the economics of smoking. He began blogging in June 2009 and wrote columns on health reform for the Raleigh, (N.C.) News and Observer. He blogged at The Incidental Economist from March 2011 to March 2012. He is the author of a book, Balancing the Budget is a Progressive Priority that will be published by Springer in May 2012.

3 thoughts on “NPR on Informal Long Term Care”

  1. NPR is respected because it is thoughtful news and the people who put together stories want to provide interesting and useful information.

    No matter what areas of health care: caregivers, physicians, nurses, caregivers, home care and facility care owners, and insurance agents– the issues around care giving (long term care) has a variety of issues: guilt, money, emotions, denial, it will never happen to me, the fear of getting older and what happens, or issues which happen to people at younger ages.

    Amerians are stressed financially, emotionally, and physically. Many are over weight, stressed because of family, jobs, and what will happen in the future. It is
    overwhelming and leads to mental health issues.

    It is easy to use the cliches: crisis; tsunami; elephant in the room; 800 pound guerilla; and other terms to explain care giving (long term care issues).

    Harley Gordon offers a better need and urgency: CONSEQUENCES. There are consequences to us, our family, and our money (cash flow). It affects our life style. Other peoples lives are put in jeopardy.

    The stories told by NPR are about people who facing these consequences. It is effecting their lives as much as the people who may have thought caregiving will never happen to them are now faced with medical or physical issues.

    What should we do to avoid many of these consequences: Wills, Trust, Medical and Durable Powers of attorney, medicaid planning, long term care insurance recommended by your professional advisors or contact a knowledgable agent and do research on the Internet.

    Emotionally, physically, and financially we will feel better having a plan in case. We do it with our home, auto, life, and health plans. We hope a loss does not occur but few of us want to take the risk which is what care giving service plans offer — a potential transfer of risk.

  2. A huge problem with LTC insurance is that that insurers have discovered that they can do very well by pretty much denying all claims initially and waiting for the few elderly disabled who have someone to push matters for them to pursue the claim and maybe get some money. On all the other claims, they just keep the entire premium and never pay the claim.

    Until folks see that they will actually get paid when they have a legitimate claim it doesn’t make sense to pay on these policies.

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