Long Term Care Government Policy Possibilities : LeadingAge

Long Term Care Government Policy Possibilities : LeadingAge Pathways

The potential long term care government policy information in the video below is very important for us as consumers and citizens.

The LeadingAge Finance Reform Task Force recently produced a comprehensive report identifying 7 possible pathways our nation can take to change how we plan and pay for long-term care.

Since long term care is something that most everyone will need at some point and the cost of this care has outpaced most people’s ability to pay for it, finding a better way to ensure people get the care they need is an imperative.

The video shows some of how things are being thought about in the industry and in government. And, depending on what is eventually decided (if anything), could very well affect our lives.

In this video, Kathryn Roberts, Chair of LeadingAge’s Finance Reform Task Force discusses the 7 Pathways that were identified in their 2014 Financing Long-Term Services and Support report.


Long term care information from LeadingAge:

  • Over 12 million adults in the U.S. currently need services; the group is almost equally split between adults who are age 65 and older (56%) and adults under 65 (44%).
  • With the aging of the American population, spending on long-term services and supports is expected to grow, doubling (in constant dollars) in little over ten years (2025) and multiplying five times by 2045.
  • Paying for care is expensive. Private-pay (i.e. not subsidized by public programs) national average rates for a nursing home private room were $90,520 annually in 2012; average private-pay rates for home health aides were $21 per hour in 2012.
  • Neither family caregiving nor Medicaid, the 2 mainstays of long-term services and supports, is equipped to handle future care needs.
  • Family members provide the majority of care for those needing long-term services. More than 42 million people provided unpaid care to an adult in 2009, with a value estimated at $450 billion.
  • Today, an estimated 17% of employed part-time or full-time adults care for a family member or friend. Families continue to do all they can, often to find that their own finances, health and employment security are stretched to the breaking point.

source: LeadingAge

About LeadingAge long-term services and supports financial task force:
The LeadingAge Finance Reform Task Force is committed to foster a ground-up long term service and support reform movement, convene and conduct state-level community conversations, and identify & connect with federal long term care government policy makers in the area of long term services and support. The Task Force’s goals are to help guide LeadingAge’s activities around transforming financing of long-term services & support.

Potential Long Term Care Government Policy :  7 Pathways synopsis

Here is a synopsis of the 7 Pathways that are proposed by LeadingAge in the video above.

Status Quo

  • This is where we are now.
  • 70% of expenditures are paid through public sources.
  • It is not sustainable.

Personal responsibility

  • Reduce government role, reduced eligibility, no subsidies. Make as many people as possible responsible for themselves.
  • Likely to increase unmet needs.

Private market

  • Develop more, standardized choices for LTSS.
  • Cash benefits & customize your services.
  • Could control costs, but increased uptake would be limited & only slightly reduce the number of people prepared for long term care.

Private catastrophic

  • Government would require catastrophic LTC products from the market. Required or incentivized participation.
  • Could reduce impoverishment some & reduce federal budget impact.
  • Required participation could be severe risk to adoption.

Public catastrophic

  • Insurance covered by public program funded by participants.
  • Replaces Medicaid. Required or incentivized participation.
  • Requirement that everyone particpates would be the challenge.

Common good

  • Public program to meet basic LTSS for working or retired people.
  • Required or incentivized participation.
  • Reduce state & federal Medicad budgets & cover most needs. Leaves out those that can’t afford it.


  • Combines public catastrophic & common good coverage.
  • Would leave out those that cannot afford it. Required or incentivized participation.
  • Reduce state & federal Medicaid budgest & cover most people.



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By Mark Hager
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Mark Hager is an aging in place thought leader and advocate. He is the founder of AgeInPlace.com, CEO of Age in Place Networks, a leading authority in the aging in place niche and a trusted voice for both consumers and business owners serving older consumers. Over the years, Mark has provided help for thousands of consumers, organizations and small businesses.

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