Unless we find the fountain of youth, the Holy Grail, or never-never land, it's inevitable that our population is aging. The baby boomer generation is just now entering retirement, which means the population of aging adults is about to increase dramatically in the United States. When this happens, the need for caregiving will increase.
Caregivers come in many different forms. The most common caregivers are middle-aged children caring for their elderly parents. There were 39 million persons age 65 and older in 2010. More than 69 million people spend time each week engaged in family caregiving, that’s an estimated two people caring for every senior citizen each week.
Research has shown that putting this burden on a family can be stressful for both the person being cared for and the caregiver. This is just one of the many reasons why long term care insurance is essential.
Long-term care insurance is designed to pay for daily living assistance, nursing care, or other necessities for aging adults. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, about 70 percent of individuals over age 65 will require at least some type of long-term care services. Some may be minimal, but that doesn’t mean they will be cheap. By 2030, the Census Bureau projects there will be about 71.5 million older persons, but only 5 million people are currently covered by long-term care insurance.
Long-term care insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, but now is the time to buy before rates go up. As the population continues to age, and the need for long term care increases, the rates will also go up. The average first-year premium for individual coverage purchased in 2011 was $2,279, up 6 percent from 2010.
Buyers of long term care insurance are getting younger and younger, which is good news. It means that people are understanding the importance of long term care insurance and are purchasing coverage well before it is needed. This is a great way to lock in a low rate before they skyrocket.
Elder care will become more of a major issue in as the average lifespan increases and larger numbers of older adults require care. Family caregivers are now and will remain an essential part of the healthcare system, but planning now for providing long term care will eliminate stress and financial burdens in the future. This can create a positive caregiving experience for the entire family.
By Matt Reynolds - Google+