Research shows that 70 percent of people 65 and older will need long-term care at some point in their lives. Despite these projections, the 2014 Department of Human Services State Fair Survey shows more than 30 percent Minnesotans do not know how they would pay for that care. An additional 13 percent of respondents said they would rely on government programs to pay for long-term care.
Since the survey was launched in 1998, respondents consistently have said they do not know how they would pay for long-term care. At the same time, losing health coverage and needing care register as major concerns for those surveyed. Nearly 48 percent said losing health was their biggest worry, while 34 percent identified running out of money, 11 percent said being a burden to family and 7 percent said not being able to save for retirement.
In response to these trends, the Dayton-Prettner Solon Administration launched Own Your Future in 2012. The initiative is designed to help Minnesotans plan for their long-term care needs, including how to pay for care.
The private financing of long-term care is critical to reducing undue pressure on public programs and helping older Minnesotans gain access to the care they deserve, said Lt. Governor Yvonne Prettner Solon. More important, when Minnesotans are able to plan for their long-term care, they have more choice, control, and peace of mind.
Own Your Future currently is analyzing a variety of long-term care financing options that may be attractive to middle-income Minnesotans. In addition to long-term care insurance, these include new types of life and health insurance and new ways to tap home equity and savings plans.
The need for Minnesotans to prepare for their long-term care becomes more urgent when we consider that the number of Minnesotans over age 65 will double between now and 2030, said Human Services Commissioner Lucinda Jesson. By 2030, one of every four Minnesotans will be over 65 compared to one in eight today.
Of the 2,624 people surveyed this year, 32 percent said they do not know how they would pay for long-term care while an additional 13 percent said they expect to use government programs.
Of the remainder, 22 percent said they would use personal savings and 24 percent said they would use long-term care insurance.
More than 40 percent of the State Fair survey respondents said they dont know where to go if they wanted to purchase a product to pay for long-term care. Other respondents said they would go to their financial advisor (29 percent),
insurance agent (22 percent), the Own Your Future website (11 percent) or the Senior LinkAge Line (17 percent), which is an informational and assistance service of the Minnesota Board on Aging.
More information about financing long-term care and a copy of the survey report is available at mn.gov/ownyourfuture.