Who wants long-term care insurance? A stated preference survey of attitudes, beliefs, and characteristics
Approximately half of people turning 65 years between 2015 and 2019 are projected to need long-term support and services. Yet the long-term care insurance (LTCI) market is depressed, with only 7.4 million people owning policies. The objective of this study was to provide an analysis of potential LTCI purchasers. We investigate (1) who wants to purchase LTCI, (2) what are the attitudes and beliefs among those who have a preference for LTCI, and (3) who would prefer a law mandating the purchase of LTCI and how that view relates to willingness to purchase LTC. We combine a discrete choice experiment with a survey on attitudes toward LTCI. We estimate odds ratio for choosing a plan based on sociodemographic characteristics, attitudes, and beliefs. Our sample consists of a population of 12 936 people who completed an Internet panel survey. Female respondents were substantially less likely to choose an LTCI plan (OR = 0.74). Income and assets over $100 000 were strong predictors of LTCI uptake (OR = 1.27 and OR = 1.48, respectively). Having adult children live close by was not associated with preference for LTCI. People who support almost any government intervention are more likely to purchase private insurance (OR = 1.12-1.33). Minorities expressed a preference for mandatory enrollment relative to whites. There is a relationship between attitudes toward long-term care financing reform and preference for LTCI, but it is not limited to supporters of private sector initiatives. While support for mandatory LTCI is low overall, it is strongest among racial/ethnic minorities and people with health problems, who potentially have the most to gain.