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LTC Awareness Month Finds Americans Still in Dark about Long-Term Care
Date:11/13/2009

BOSTON, Nov. 13 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- Americans may realize that they have a significant chance of needing long-term care (LTC), but they greatly underestimate the cost of care, believe government programs cover more than they actually do, and haven't developed a plan to deal with their own potential care. A national survey of 935 people ages 21 to 75, released today as part of LTC Awareness Month (November) and John Hancock's "Know Your Options" campaign, found that most respondents only knew the answer to six out of 10 basic LTC "quiz" questions.

Additional survey questions about people's ability to pay for long-term care showed that the vast majority can only afford to pay a fraction of what LTC costs on their own, and 83 percent have made no personal or financial plan to cover those costs in the future.

Long-Term Care Quiz Highlights

John Hancock's quiz results revealed that more than 80 percent knew that the average lifetime chance of needing long-term care for an individual 65 years or older is more than 40 percent. But people significantly underestimated the cost of nursing home care with seven in 10 thinking the average is $30,000 a year, which is less than half the actual national average cost of $75,000.

"Americans are still in need of information on long-term care, particularly when it comes to how they would cover the costs if they ever face the need for care," said Marianne Harrison, president, John Hancock Long Term Care. "We are hopeful that educational efforts, like this campaign, will provide individuals with the facts they need to realistically evaluate their own situations. We've found that planning ahead can make what undoubtedly is a difficult situation -- providing and paying for care -- much more manageable."

The quiz also revealed that many respondents have an incomplete understanding of government-based programs. While more than 70 percent did know that people gene
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SOURCE John Hancock
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