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Long-Term Care Coverage for Employees Continues to Decline As More Insurers Leave, Says HighRoads Study

March 6, 2012

BOSTON – Long-term care as an employer-provided benefit continues to be a dwindling part of an employee’s overall health care benefits package, according to the results of a Long-Term Care (LTC) Benefits Program Pulse Survey announced today by HighRoads, the industry leader in employer health care compliance and benefits management.  Key findings show that 51% of survey respondents provide long term care while 49% do not.  About half of those who have dropped LTC say they did so because the insurance carrier offering the coverage has exited the market.  On a positive note: 96% of companies who are offering LTC coverage say they will continue to do so.

In other key findings, the survey found that, of those who do not offer the coverage, some 40% plan to do so again in the future, on a voluntary arrangement, as opposed to a group basis.

HighRoads conducted the survey to assess current employer practices and future plans for offering long-term care (LTC) benefits programs to their employees. Respondents ranged in size from fewer than 5,000 employees to more than 50,000 employees. The majority of respondents have more than 10,000 employees.

“HighRoads’ survey indicates that long-term care coverage is continuing to be an endangered item for employees.  The country has a growing number of retirees – many of whom will need some type of long-term medical care services in the future.  It is a serious issue when insurers no longer are willing to provide this as part of an employee’s health benefits plan,” said Michael Byers, CEO, HighRoads. “With the elimination of the CLASS provisions from the ACA, which would have enabled working Americans to purchase coverage to supplement LTC and Medicare and pay for non-medical expenses to allow a disabled person to remain independent, millions of Americans will be left without a safety net should they become disabled,” added Byers.

According to data from the 2005 National Interview Survey and the 2004 National Nursing Home Survey conducted by the Health Policy Institute at Georgetown University found that over 10 million Americans need long-term services and support to assist them in life’s daily activities and that number is expected to grow with the aging of the population and growing number of people with disabilities.

The HighRoads survey found that more than 90% of the employers who offer LTC do so as an additional benefit to their employees.  The remainder is equally divided between offering LTC as part of their overall health care strategy and being required by union contracts to offer this benefit.

Of the employers who responded 71% offer coverage on a group basis.  The remainder offer it on an individual basis.

For a copy of the report please contact Petra Marino at pmarino@highroads.com

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