NPR, in conjunction with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard School of Public Health, has recently released a new poll of Americans over 50, which was reported by NPR in a wonderful story on September 29, 2011, called “More Realize They Face Pricey Long-Term Care” . I use the word wonderful for three reasons.
First, it features my good friend and frequent Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCi) conference roommate, Sally Leimbach.
Secondly, this is the first time I have heard a radio story solely on LTCi. Usually LTCi is mentioned as an aside. The media finally seem to be giving LTCi the credibility it is entitled to!
Thirdly, the story gets it all right. It includes an interview of a consumer purchasing LTCi: hallelujah, LTCi is finally treated like the “prime-time” solution it deserves to be. It also accurately portrays people’s denial and inability to face reality. The story reports that only 7% of those polled thought that Medicaid pays for long-term care (LTC) in the US. In reality, over 50% of all LTC in this country is paid for by Medicaid.
As the title portends, more people than ever (about 2/3 of us, according to the poll) now admit they may have trouble paying for long-term care (LTC). As I have stated in the past, the public seems to enjoy dwelling in a state of denial and/or disconnect. I am sad that people don’t take responsibility and act on such information. My colleagues and I often say, in regard to responsible LTC planning, that failing to plan is more like planning to fail.