LOS ANGELES – Millions of Americans are unprepared for the consequences of living longer lives. November marks Long-Term Care Awareness Month, an ideal time for policy-makers and consumers to focus on the topic, according to a national trade group.
"We are facing a tsunami of care needs for aging Americans," says Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI). "What is our nation's plan for the day when one in four Americans will be over age 60?"
While the need for long-term care services is not limited to the elderly, those ages 65 and older are 10 times more likely to need care, according to AALTCI.
Established in 2001 and recognized by Congress, Long-Term Care Awareness Month is the ideal time for policy-makers and individuals to focus on the issue. "We are calling on each Presidential candidate to recognize the importance of this issue; one that will impact millions of Americans and their families," Slome adds.
This call comes as long-term care insurance professionals are about to descend on the nation’s capital for the AALTCI-sponsored 2015 Long-Term Care Solutions Sales Summit, set for Oct. 27 at the Hyatt Hotel at Dulles International Airport. AALTCI members can attend the live event for free, or anyone can register to watch sessions streamed live online for free.
"People mistakenly believe that long-term care is covered by health insurance or Medicare," says Bill Naylon, president of MedAmerica Insurance Company, a leading long-term care insurance carrier. "Creating awareness is the first step in assuring that people have a long-term care plan in place. Elected officials and those running for office can play an important role in starting the discussion to heighten awareness and drive solutions."
"There is already a huge financial, emotional and physical strain on individuals and families who must pay for or provide care for aging spouses and parents," Slome says. Total national spending for long-term care services exceeds $300 billion annually according to AALTCI, with Medicaid covering just over half of total expenditures.
"Concern about financial security during retirement resulted in the creation of 401(k) and IRA retirement savings vehicles and today 50 million Americans participate in one of these plans," Slome says. "Now we need to address long-term care."
The AALTCI is a national advocacy group. To learn more about long-term care insurance planning and member benefits visit the organization's website at www.aaltci.org/benefits.
• See also: AALTCI Sales Summit Washington DC
Next page: 4 free workshops for selling short-term care insurance
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