Trade Group Urges Long Term Care Planning Discussions
More than three-quarters of adults ages 65 and older say they've talked with their children about their wills according to a study just released by the Pew Research Center. Two-thirds say they've talked about what to do if they can no longer make their own medical decisions, the study found.
"One of the subjects aging parents still fail to discuss with their adult children is long-term care," explains Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance, the national industry trade organization. "Failure to do so costs families lost money and increased stress."
The Pew study reflected that it is the parent who generally initiates conversations regarding wills and health care instructions. Some 70 percent of older adults reported this to be the case. "About half (55%) of the survey respondents say they have talked to their children about what to do if they can no longer live independently," Slome acknowledges. "This is a conversation that every family needs to have, sooner rather than later."
In addition to failing to discuss long-term care planning and desired living arrangements when one is no longer capable of living independently, the long-term care industry trade group notes that aging parents also fail to tell their adult children when they have purchased long-term care insurance protection. "It is vitally important to have this discussion because when care is called for, the adult child is often the one who starts the process of requesting benefits," Slome explains. "There are instances where a claim was never submitted simply because the family members were unaware that insurance coverage existed."
Some 8.25 million Americans currently own long term care insurance protection purchased either on an individual basis or through an employer-offered plan. The organization issued a statement today urging policyholders to advise their children after coverage has been purchased. "One can simply provide the cover page from the policy or a simple page that includes the insurance company name, policy number and essential contact information," Slome notes.
For additional information on local long term care planning or to find insurance professionals in your area, visit the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance's website: aaltci.org. The Association's website features the nation's most comprehensive Consumer Information Center dedicated exclusively to long term care insurance information.
Written by Jesse Slome, AALTCI