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Choosing Long-Term Care Insurance Policies: What Do People Want?

Publication Date

Long-term services and supports (LTSS) are expensive. The average private pay cost of a private room nursing home stay in 2014 was about $88,000 a year. Although this cost is insurable through private long-term care (LTC) insurance, coverage is low. At the same time, limited data are available about people's preferences for various features of LTC insurance, inhibiting our understanding of the alignment between consumer preferences and LTC insurance options. In addition, little is known about how the American public views government and private insurance options and preferences between mandatory and voluntary approaches. To address this knowledge gap, a discrete choice experiment (DCE) was conducted as part of the 2014 Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning.

As insurers and policymakers seek to design insurance policies and initiatives to promote better financial coverage of LTSS for the American population, a key issue is what features of insurance policies consumers most desire, and what are they willing to trade off among those attributes. This study suggests that consumers have strong preferences. How to resolve those conflicts is the challenge for both insurers and policymakers.

This Issue Brief presents the findings from a DCE conducted as part of the 2014 Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning. It was authored by Derek Brown, Benjamin Allaire and Joshua Wiener. The authors gratefully acknowledge contributions of William Marton and Samuel Shipley of ASPE/HHS. The views expressed in this brief are those of the authors and do not express the views of HHS or RTI International.