Poll: Americans Anxious About Long-Term Care

Few know how their costs will be covered

MONDAY, Sept. 30 (HealthDay News) -- More than two-thirds of Americans are worried about how they will pay for long-term care, and more than two-thirds of them are likely to need it someday, according to the results of a Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll.

The poll, based on interviews with 2,013 adults, also revealed that people are fairly confused about who pays for nursing home or home health care under the current system. Nearly half thought costs were paid for by individuals, and one-third thought that Medicare pays them. Only 19 percent understood that Medicaid covers the bulk of long-term care.

As it stands, despite being anxious about the costs of long-term care, only 8 percent of adults in the United States have actually purchased any type of long-term care insurance. The Affordable Care Act does not address how to deal with the increasing cost of caring for America's aging population.

"How we will pay for long-term care in the future is likely to become a huge political issue," Harris Poll chairman Humphrey Taylor told HealthDay. "The cost is already well over $200 billion and is almost certain to grow rapidly as many more baby boomers grow older."

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