Long-Term Care

The Issue: Even with decades of significant advances in technology and services, all too often there usually comes a time when relatives are simply not able to care for a family member needing assistance with the basic personal tasks of everyday life. The next step is usually professional care – either at-home care, in an assisted living facility, or in a nursing home. Because of the level of care required, personal resources and insurance benefits are quickly exhausted.  Contrary to popular misconception, Medicare doesn’t cover the cost of custodial care, and Medicaid generally supports low-income individuals.  

It is therefore imperative that private Long-Term Care Insurance (LTCI) play a significant role in the financing of long-term care services. LTCI can be vital in addressing our nation’s long-term care needs, particularly with an aging “boomer” generation that could eventually overwhelm our nation’s already financially strained government programs. LTCI can ensure that the significant health care expenses that will occur with advanced age are met without burdening one’s family or depleting other financial assets.  

NAIFA Position: NAIFA supports proposals to increase consumer options in the LTCI market and incentivize the purchase of LTCI coverage. Congress should enact legislation to facilitate access to LTCI such as permitting workers to buy LTCI with contributions to their employer-sponsored “cafeteria plans” or flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and enacting tax incentives to encourage the purchase of LTCI.  Such reforms would help ensure Americans have LTCI coverage that will enable them to maintain their independence and protect them from devastating long-term care costs.