The population of people needing long term health care services in the US – both in percentage and in sheer numbers – continues to increase. It has been for many years. Here are three reasons why.

1 – Baby boomers. The generation born in the years after World War II ended has reached senior status. There are more elderly than ever before, and they comprise a higher percentage of the total populace than ever before. These numbers mean that more and more people will need some form of long term care in their final years.

2 – Longer life. Between advances in medical science and improved general education about and attention to overall health, the average American’s life expectancy is longer than that of all previous generations. And the longer one lives, the more likely one is to require long term care at some point.

3 – Fewer caregivers. Longer lives also mean more widows and widowers. Without a spouse or significant other around to help with care, people are more likely to seek help at long term care facilities or hire in home nurses.  Also, many people are single in the first place, and many do not have adult children who are willing and able to provide care for their parents. Having fewer “built-in” family caregivers puts a greater burden – in time and in money – on other sources of long term care.

These and other factors (the rise of diabetes and obesity, for instance) combine to create a potential societal crisis around the provision of and payment for long term care. If across-the-board solutions are not forthcoming, it falls to individual families to deal with their own specific situations. That’s where long term care insurance comes in.

LTCI is a way for middle-income people to plan ahead, and apply for coverage that extends beyond what traditional health insurance covers. It can serve as a way to protect retirement savings, prepare for an uncertain future, and gain invaluable peace of mind. Experts are available to help consumers understand how it works, explore the many available options, and get down to the specifics of suitable policies and premiums. And sooner is better than later – we’re not getting any younger.

LTC Consumer is an independent, free online service to help consumers understand what long term care insurance is, how it works, and how to evaluate coverage options. Our mission is to provide an educational, no-pressure resource for learning about long term care planning, with the opportunity to speak with specialists who can
help them.