The importance of employer sponsorship in the long-term care insurance market.J Aging Soc Policy 2004; 16(2):67-84JA
Medicare and Medicaid are major sources of long-term care payments and thus will bear much of the burden from the growth in long-term care service use. The large future demand for long-term care services is of great concern among policymakers due to its expense and the use of public program dollars. It is argued that the individual purchase of long-term care insurance can help alleviate the increasing financial pressure on public programs responsible for the majority of longterm care financing. However, consumers have shown little interest in insuring against the high costs of long-term care. This analysis examines the effect of several factors on the decision to purchase a long-term care insurance policy: knowledge and attitudes of long-term care insurance and the long-term care financing system, the perceived risk for longterm care, financial planning behavior, and the availability of long-term care insurance. The interim results indicate the factor most likely to affect the decision to purchase long-term care insurance is access to employer-sponsored long-term care insurance. This suggests tht the availability of affordable and high quality coverage is more important than demand-side factors such as awareness of long-term care insurance and a perceived greater risk for long-term care.