National poll reveals views on planning for long-term care needs

When asked how confident they are that they will have financial resources to pay for any care as they get older, only 36 percent of Americans age 40 and older are very or extremely confident, according to a national poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs. While this number is an increase over the past three years, the study finds there continues to be a lack of public confidence about how to pay for long-term care.

For the 2016 Long-Term Care Poll, The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs surveyed 1,698 Americans age 40 and older on their knowledge of the long-term care system, their perceptions and misconceptions on the likelihood of needing long-term care services and the costs of those services, and their views and behaviors on planning for long-term care.

  • Here are some of the other key findings from the study:
    38 percent of older adults mistakenly expect to rely on Medicare to assist in covering the costs of long-term care as they age, followed by Social Security (35 percent). However, Medicare generally does not pay for most long-term care needs.
  • On the other hand, only 20 percent of Americans expect to rely on Medicaid to help finance long-term care. Medicaid, funded jointly by states and the federal government, is the primary payer for long-term care services, says The Kaiser Commission on Medicaid and the Uninsured.
  • One-third of older adults say they have done no planning for their long-term needs, similar to 2015 when 31 percent said the same.

Increasing awareness of how to pay for long-term care and the need to plan for the support that will be needed during our senior years are issues that affect many Minnesotans.

In our state, at least 60,000 Minnesotans will turn 65 this year and every year through 2030. In fact, as baby boomers reach retirement age, Minnesota’s senior population is doubling.

Check out and share our fact sheet that gives a quick look at the stats – and why we all need to face aging.

Read the full Associated Press – NORC Center for Public Affairs Poll report.

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