Employees who enroll in long-term-care insurance plans offered by their employers tend to be older, have higher incomes, have accumulated more assets and are more likely to have graduated from college than employees who turn down the offer, according to a report to be released this week.
The study, "Who Buys Long-Term-Care Insurance in the Workplace," was conducted for the Health Insurance Association of America, which provided Modern Healthcare with an exclusive executive summary.
The study used data provided by five unnamed insurance companies that write policies sold through employers, with surveys of 1,018 enrolled employees and 315 nonenrolled employees. Information was gathered on 3,712 policies, with the average premium for an employer-based plan at $722 annually, compared with $1,677 annually for an individually purchased plan.
The results show that a key factor in deciding whether to enroll seems to be the employee's attitude toward the federal government's role in paying for skilled-nursing care and home health services. Enrolled employees are only half as likely as nonenrolled employees to say that the government should cover most of the cost should the need for long-term care arise. Enrolled employees also were less likely than their nonenrolled colleagues to believe that the federal government has a responsibility to pay for such care, although fewer than half the respondents in both categories pinned that responsibility on the government.
For those who don't enroll, the upfront costs of long-term-care policies is the most-cited reason. Three out of five nonenrollees also said confusion about the merits of various plans was a factor.