Stressed-looking woman looks at her computer.

It’s been known for some time that adults in the United States fail to prepare for their long-term care costs and needs. Two new industry surveys reinforce that.

One of them, from Cross Country Workforce Solutions Group, found while most people aged 50-79 years old would prefer at-home care as they age, 91% of respondents have not proactively researched the care they may need as they grow older. And 34% have not thought about their care needs. Moreover, 80% of survey respondents have not heard of existing managed-at-home care programs, such as Programs of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) and Living Independence for the Elderly (LIFE). Cross Country Workforce Solutions Group is a division of Cross Country Healthcare, a workforce solutions tech-enabled talent platform and staffing, recruitment and advisory firm.

“At-home care has proven to provide a better quality of life and outcomes for seniors requiring perpetual care, and it has tremendous potential to relieve some of the burdens our healthcare system will face with today’s aging population,” said Pamela Jung, president of Cross Country Workforce Solutions Group. “We believe that keeping seniors at home for as long as possible is a win-win for patients and the healthcare system.”

Other survey findings:

  • 70% of respondents said their preference for care as they get older is to remain at home with support.
  • 57% of respondents have not considered a budget for what they may need for aged care services and support.
  • The most in-demand managed-at-home-care services were transportation to appointments (45%), medical care (45%), shopping (36%), meal preparation (33), and laundry (32%).

Underestimating costs

In another survey of 402 adults aged 40 to 64, respondents, on average, underestimated the costs of long-term care by $20,000. Also, only 1 in 10 surveyed have long-term care coverage. When shown the costs of care, half of all respondents indicated they were “not at all” prepared to cover those expenses. HCG Secure, an insurance produce and solution innovator, conducted the survey with the Arctos Foundation and AtotheZ Marketing.

“There is a concerning disconnect between the wealth of research we have on the caregiver burden and the high costs of long-term services and supports,” said Tom Beauregard, CEO of HCG Secure.

Medicare Advantage pull

One reason for the popularity of Medicare Advantage, which is soon expected to comprise more than half of the total Medicare population, is the nonmedical supplemental benefits. These include home care, meals and transportation.