Genworth Survey Reinforces Need For Greater Personal Responsibility In Assuring Future Care Needs

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09 Apr 2007

The American Health Care Association (AHCA) and National Center for Assisted Living (NCAL) today said the results of Genworth Financial’s new “2007 Cost of Care Survey” – which found the average national cost of care in nursing homes, assisted living facilities and home-based care increased 15% since 2004 – should serve as a reminder to every American that they should begin planning for their own long term care needs, and take more personal responsibility for their retirement.

“The findings of the new Genworth study should serve as a wake up call to every American that the staggering costs of retirement can quickly overwhelm one’s savings in a disastrous manner,” said Bruce Yarwood, President and CEO of AHCA/NCAL. “With 77 million baby boomers rapidly approaching the age when many will require long term care, it is essential for Congress to pass laws enabling every citizen to equip themselves with the tools necessary to pay for and receive care in the most appropriate setting for their condition.”

Yarwood commended Congress for recently passing legislation expanding citizens’ ability to purchase state-approved long term care insurance policies. “Through recently passed tax laws, Congress and the President have taken initial steps towards boosting Americans’ ability to save for and ultimately fund the long term care services that best meets one’s needs,” Yarwood continued. “But far more must be done – including a more extensive public education effort designed to improve public awareness of the fact individuals must take more responsibility for their retirement health costs.”

The AHCA/NCAL President and CEO pointed to a separate national poll associated with the Genworth study which found 75 percent of Americans have made no long term care plans and 59 percent expressed concern about being able to pay for long term care. The poll also revealed that almost half of the respondents (44 percent) incorrectly believe that either Medicare or their private health insurance will pay for their long term care needs. In actuality, health insurance and the federal Medicare program generally do not cover long term care.

“With Americans living longer, and with those 85 and above America’s fastest growing demographic, another overriding message from the Genworth survey is that there will be an ongoing, consistent need for facility-based skilled nursing care,” Yarwood added. “It must be the policy of Congress and the Administration to bolster our long term care sector in a manner that is consistent with our nation’s growing demand for care in all settings – including facility-based care.”

The American Health Care Association and the National Center For Assisted Living are the nation’s leading long term care organizations. AHCA/NCAL and their membership are committed to performance excellence and Quality First, a covenant for healthy, affordable and ethical long term care. AHCA/NCAL represent more than 10,000 non-profit and proprietary facilities dedicated to continuous improvement in the delivery of professional and compassionate care provided daily to more than 1.5 million of our nation’s frail, elderly and disabled citizens who live in nursing facilities, assisted living residences, subacute centers and homes for persons with mental retardation and developmental disabilities.
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