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Congress Proclaims Support for Long Term Care Awareness Week; Recent Poll Shows Voters Want Long Term Care Included in Presidential Candidates' Healthcare Proposals
Date:11/6/2007

Research Also Reveals 70% of Americans Have No Long Term Care Plans

WASHINGTON, Nov. 6 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- To focus attention on the growing impact long term care has on American families, the U.S. House of Representatives has for the first time issued a resolution proclaiming its support for national Long Term Care Awareness Week (Nov. 4 - 10).

Genworth Financial -- one of the nation's leading providers of individual long term care insurance* -- is among several long term care insurers actively participating in this industry-wide awareness campaign. During its annual LTC symposium held last month, Genworth Financial released the results of a new poll examining how voters feel about long term care issues as they relate to the upcoming presidential election.

According to the new bi-partisan national survey conducted by Public Opinion Strategies (POS) and The Mellman Group, nearly seven in 10 Americans have not made any plans for their own, a spouse's or another relative's long term care needs. Yet, more than half those surveyed have had a loved one who needed some form of long term care. The poll also found that close to 80 percent of the respondents want to see long term care included in the healthcare proposals offered by the presidential candidates. More than 80 percent of those surveyed also said that positions on long term care funding will be an important factor in deciding who to vote for in the 2008 election.

Genworth Financial also has published a new book on the future of long term care in America, written by leading experts, which discusses America's current long term care system and the challenges it will face as 78 million Baby Boomers age.

"This new book will hopefully encourage more people to think seriously about how their families would manage through a long term care situation," said Buck Stinson, president of Genworth Financial's long term care insurance division.

A single year of long term care in a facility can cost more than some household's income, according the Genworth's 2007 Cost of Care Survey. This study found that a single year in a private nursing home room in 2007 costs on average $74,806 nationally. Meanwhile, the median household income in the United States is $46,272.

Home care, which is where the vast majority of long term care is provided, costs more than most people may realize. The survey also found that the average hourly rate for a certified and licensed home health aide is $25.47 per hour, a cost that adds up to $52,977 per year for a 40-hour work week. A separate Genworth survey released in April found that 44 percent of Americans incorrectly believe that Medicare or their private health insurance pay for long term care.

The book, The Future of Long Term Care in America: Views and Recommendations by Prominent Experts, is composed of 10 chapters, each written by a different author such as AARP CEO Bill Novelli, former Congressional Budget Office Director Douglas Holtz-Eakin, American Health Care Association President and CEO Bruce Yarwood and National Alliance for Caregivers President and CEO Gail Hunt. It covers a wide range of long term care issues and is intended to inform policymakers, academics, financial advisors and consumers about the challenges associated with today's long term care system in meeting the demands of the aging Baby Boom generation. It also explores policy options that policymakers might consider.

The book is available at Genworth.com/FutureofLTC. It also may be ordered online for approximately $5 per copy on BarnesandNoble.com, Amazon.com and Borders.com.

"Today's model for long term care simply will not sustain the need for services in the future," said Stinson. "Currently, without private insurance, the only other choice for a family is to pay out of pocket, potentially spending every dollar saved for retirement until they are destitute and can qualify for state assistance. Our research tells us that people want more options and they want their government to be a partner in the process. Voters clearly want their next President to make long term care a national priority."

* LifePlans 2006 Long Term Care Individual and Group Association Top Writers Survey Results. Based on number of individual policies sold and individual annualized premium inforce. Long term care insurance is underwritten by Genworth Life Insurance Company and in New York, Genworth Life Insurance Company of New York.

About Genworth Financial

Genworth Financial, Inc. (NYSE: GNW) is a leading financial security company meeting the retirement, longevity and lifestyle protection, investment and mortgage insurance needs of more than 15 million customers. It has a presence in more than 25 countries. For more information, visit genworth.com.


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SOURCE Genworth Financial, Inc.
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