COVID Deaths Should Prompt Rebranding of Long-Term Care Insurance, Recommends Association Director

Los Angeles, CA, February 10, 2022 –(PR.com)– The fact that one-in-four people who died from COVID were nursing home or assisted living residents should prompt the long-term care insurance industry to carefully consider rebranding suggests the director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

“More than 201,000 residents and staff of long-term care facilities died from COVID, about 23 percent of all deaths according to a just-released Kaiser Family Foundation report,” declares Jesse Slome, director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance. “People never wanted to go to nursing homes and COVID is only making people more aware that this is not a desirable option.”

“When care is needed, people want to remain in their own home, something the long-term care insurance industry has known for decades,” Slome admits. “But everything associated with the product category focuses on skilled care with home care listed as a secondary benefit that is included. Try selling that something people don’t want and, oh yes, charging a whole lot of money for it.”

Instead, the long-term care insurance expert has advocated positioning long-term care insurance as “nursing home avoidance protection.” “You buy this coverage for the very simple reason that you do not want to go into a nursing home,” he states. “In fact, I wish state regulators would allow individuals to buy home care insurance protection with minimal benefits for skilled care, similar to what some short-term care policies permit.”

Slome points to the failed Washington Cares program as an example. “While there were flaws in the effort, the State clearly understood the desire and need for a benefit that paid for home care,” Slome explains. “Long-term care facilities do everything they can to safely serve individuals and I am confident will continue to do so.”

“If long-term care insurance is to ever become a viable option for more than a very small percentage of individuals, things need to change,” Slome advocates. “Part of that change I believe needs to be a re-branding of the category and COVID certainly provides a great opportunity to do that.”

The data comes from a just-published study from the Kaiser Family Foundation. According to the report, residents and staff of long-term care facilities accounted for 201,000 COVID deaths. That amounted to about 23 percent of all deaths (680,000). The report acknowledged the number could be even higher due to under-reporting. At the inception of the pandemic, nearly half of all deaths occurred in long-term care facilities.

The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI) advocates for the importance of long-term care planning and supports insurance professionals who market both traditional and hybrid LTC solutions. To access the latest data regarding long-term care need and insurance, visit the Association’s Data Center at www/aaltci.org/LTCFacts-2022/.

To obtain long-term care insurance costs from a long-term care insurance specialist call the organization at 818-597-3227 or visit their website www.aaltci.org.