Insurance for the Long Haul Philadelphia Inquirer (08/14/00) No. 3696 p.C1; Phillips, Shelly
Alarmed by the decline in the quality of the life of
their parents, baby boomers are making long-term care (LTC)
insurance part of their pre-retirement plans. However, experts
urge buyers to proceed with caution. Statistics show that an
alarming number of middle-age Americans are buying LTC.
According to the Health Insurance Association of America, as many
as 5.8 million LTC policies had been written as of June 30, 1998.
Driving the trend is the fact that a growing number of baby
boomers carry the responsibility--and in some cases the
expense--of taking care of their sick or elderly parents, many of
whom have become financially dependent on their children because
their assets have been depleted by health care problems.
Although the benefits of LTC are many, experts contend that the
coverage carries certain gambles. Not everyone who buys LTC
coverage will need it. Robert Field, director of the graduate
program in health policy at the University of the Sciences in
Philadelphia, says buyers should observe certain criteria. Field
encourages people under 45 to wait to see what happens with
Medicare reform before buying a policy, while saving as much as
possible for retirement. Buyers over 45 should look into LTC but
be selective about which company they buy from. Lastly, Fields
recommends that buyers secure the services of a financial adviser
to make sure the insurance fits with their overall financial