Your series on aging in Utah has brought to the forefront the filial and financial strains that millions of us face when we or someone we love need long-term care. Despite families' considerable efforts and substantial public expenditures, many are left to struggle with unmet needs and catastrophic costs. It is simply unaffordable to care.
As the Deseret News points out, long-term care insurance is not the only solution. In fact, only one in five Americans can afford the long-term care insurance policy needed to meet their needs. And even if everyone purchased the best private coverage he or she could afford, Medicaid costs still would increase about fivefold from 2000 to 2045. This is simply unsustainable.
What our country needs is a national insurance trust whose premiums provide cash benefits to pay for long-term care expenses. When we are well, we would pay premiums like we do for car or health insurance. When we needed help, we could receive cash benefits to hire an aide, pay a family member who misses work to help us or order groceries to be delivered. Based on sound financial principles, this plan would give us more choice and control over our lives.
We must make it affordable to care.
President and CEO
American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging