In-Home Care Important to Most People - Many Anticipate Facility Care

Research indicates that people want to stay at home for long-term health care when they get older but would rather die than live in a nursing home. Many are surprised at how costly long-term health care is and its impact on the family. LTC Insurance helps keep people at home.

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In-Home Care Important to Most People - Many Anticipate Facility Care
7 Min Read December 8th, 2021 Updated:August 14th, 2023

Recent years have brought heightened awareness to the challenges of aging, shifting health dynamics, and the implications of increased life expectancy on long-term health care. The pandemic has further emphasized the significance of long-term care, with numerous families grappling with its repercussions.

According to an insurance survey, while most respondents prefer to receive care at home, many anticipate requiring facility-based care such as assisted living. Nationwide Financial, a frontrunner in long-term health care solutions, released its ninth consecutive annual survey last year. The findings reveal that 86% of adult participants prefer to receive long-term care in their own homes, underscoring a general aversion to nursing homes.

Rather Die Than Live in a Nursing Home

Nationwide Retirement Institute Long-Term Care survey also revealed that 60% of baby boomers say they would rather die than live in a nursing home. However, many people reveal they know little about funding care costs and available care options.

Other key findings of the survey:

  • 56% of boomers expect to be in their own homes when they require long-term health care

  • 23% of boomers expect to need assisted living facility care

  • 10% of boomers expect to live with a family member and have them provide their care

  • 6% of boomers expect to be in a nursing home

  • 2% of boomers expect to need adult day care

Health Insurance and Medicare Not Options for Funding Future Care

Health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pay a limited amount of skilled long-term care services, but most long-term health care is custodial (help with daily living activities or supervision due to dementia) and not covered at all by health insurance, Medicare, and supplements. 

Medicaid will pay for long-term care, including custodial care, but you must have little or no income and assets to qualify. Long-Term Care Insurance will pay for all levels of care in all settings, including at home, but you must purchase a policy before your health changes and you require care.

Most Families are Unprepared for High Costs of LTC

Often, families go into crisis mode when an older parent requires care leaving adult children to become caregivers or find professional care paid for from their parent's savings - creating a financial crisis. 

The costs of long-term health care services are rising rapidly because of increasing demand and labor costs that are growing every year. Nursing homes are the most expensive and average over $100,000 a year. Home care and assisted living are more affordable but not cheap and still create a financial strain on families. 

The costs will vary depending on where you live. For example, according to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, a month of in-home care, based on a 44-hour week, in Charlotte, North Carolina, averages over $4400 a month today. But, in twenty years, that same care is expected to run over $7500 a month - North Carolina Long-Term Care Resources.

Base assisted living facilities costs run on average $4300 a month in Charlotte, but that base cost should run over $7300 a month in twenty years. Keep in mind that assisted living facilities will add surcharges on top of the base cost depending on the amount of care you may require.

Compare Charlotte with Bridgeport, Connecticut. Home care in Bridgeport averages about $4900 a month today and over $8300 a month in twenty years. The base assisted living costs average about $6500 a month today, and in twenty years, it should run about $11,000 a month. If you need a nursing home in Bridgeport, expect to pay at least $18,500 a month today, but in twenty years, that will average over $31,500 a month Connecticut Long-Term Care Resources | LTC News.

You can find the current and future cost of all types of long-term health care services where you live, along with state-specific information on funding solutions, regulations, tax incentives, and available care options by using the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator page - Cost of Care Calculator - Find Your Location.

LTC Insurance Helping Most People to Stay at Home

For decades the criticism of Long-Term Care Insurance was it covered only nursing home care, and nobody wanted to go to a nursing home. Yet, since the late 1990s, LTC Insurance has been comprehensive and covers all types of care in all care settings, including in-home care. 

Claims data compiled by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance (AALTCI), a national advocacy and education group, says most LTC Insurance claims start with in-home care.

Pie Graph Showing Where Long-Term Care Insurance Claims Begin

According to the Association, about 73% of new Long-Term Care Insurance claims start with the policyholder receiving care in their own home. Some 18% begin their claim receiving benefits at an assisted living facility. Only 8% start benefits in a nursing home. The data is based on traditional LTC Insurance policies constituting most of the policies purchased over the past three decades.

"You buy insurance to protect against real risks and real needs. The risk of needing care in your own home is real," said Jesse Slome, the executive director of the AALTCI.

Need for Long-Term Care Happens at All Ages - Increases with Aging

Advances in medical science keep us alive, but these advances also increase the risk of needing help with daily activities or supervision due to a decline in cognitive ability. 

The AALTCI notes that 69% of Long-Term Care Insurance policyholders start receiving benefits between the ages of 75 and 89.

Long-Term Care Insurance is medically underwritten and cannot be purchased "when you need it." Premiums are calculated based on several factors, including your age when you obtain coverage, health, family history, and the total amount of available money in the policy. The perfect time to purchase LTC Insurance coverage is before you retire, ideally in your 50s.


Unfortunately, many people don't do any planning until the need for care is either imminent or already present. At that point, it is too late because insurance companies will only issue policies to those who can health qualify.

According to the AALTCI, the average age for those buying new traditional LTC Insurance remains between 56 and 57. 

Confusion with Long-Term Disability Insurance with Long-Term Care

The Nationwide study conducted by Harris Polls suggests that many working Americans are confusing disability insurance benefits provided at work with actual Long-Term Care Insurance. 

According to the survey, 39% of millennials claim they own Long-Term Care Insurance. Only 26% of GenXers and 19% of Boomers indicate they own an LTC policy. 

Most Long-Term Care Insurance is purchased outside the workplace and is usually unavailable. According to experts, the few available plans typically have minimal benefits and are unsuitable for long-term care planning. 

Disability insurance available through the workplace replaces a small portion of a person's salary if they cannot work and is usually not portable if you leave the job. Disability insurance does not pay for any long-term health care.

Several Insurance Planning Options Available

There are several options to prepare for future declining health and the costs and burdens of aging. Most consumers select traditional Long-Term Care Insurance; however, they typically have the most conservative underwriting rules. Every company has its own criteria, and a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist can help you determine both suitability and eligibility. 

Traditional policies can also be "partnership certified." Partnership Long-Term Care Insurance offers additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection allowing you to shelter assets based on the total amount of benefits paid by the policy - What is a Long-Term Care Partnership Policy?

There are tax benefits also available - Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.

However, a growing number of consumers have an interest in asset-based LTC Insurance, known as Hybrid policies. These policies combine life insurance or an annuity with qualified long-term care benefits. However, they cost much more - but include death benefits. Caution, be sure you only consider a policy that meets federal guidelines under Section 7702(b) of the U.S. Code. 

There are several consumer protections in any policy that meets 7702(b) guidelines that are vital to the policyholder - What Are Long-Term Care Insurance Regulations, and How Do They Protect Policyholders?

Some states also offer limited duration or 'short-term care' plans that offer limited benefits but have more relaxed underwriting rules. 

Planning before the crisis will be easier on your family and your finances. We see changes in our health, body, mobility, and mind as we grow older. The goal is to plan before these changes limit your options or become too expensive to consider.

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About the Author

An LTC News author focusing on long-term care and aging.

LTC News Contributor James Kelly

James Kelly

Contributor since August 21st, 2017

Editor's Note

Quality health care is something you and your loved ones deserve. There are minimum standards you should expect. When someone gets older and needs long-term health care, it may be harder to determine quality care as you might not observe it like you would with other types of care.

Think about your concerns. If you are planning for retirement, the future costs and quality of long-term health care should be on top of your list. Don't place the responsibility on your family; being prepared will give your loved ones the time to be family.

Quality care often costs more. Finding quality caregivers and long-term care facilities can be challenging. Long-Term Care Insurance gives you access to your choice of quality care services. The guaranteed tax-free benefits keep you in control. You get your choice of care services, including at home. Your assets are preserved as long-term health care costs continue to increase. Your family will not have to become your caregiver - they will have the time to be your family.

The best time to prepare for the costs and burdens of aging and the consequences these changes in your health, body, and mind will bring on you and your family is when you are younger.

Most people obtain coverage in their 50s. You might have questions and LTC NEWS answers many of the most asked questions here - Frequently Asked Questions | LTC News.

Seek Professional Help Planning for Long-Term Care

Experts recommend seeking the help of a qualified and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you find the right coverage. A specialist will match your age, health, and family history with the right coverage at the right price. 

Long-term care is a very specialized area, and few insurance agents and financial advisors have the expertise. Find a specialist who represents the top companies as premiums can vary over 100% between insurance companies. Leading specialists will often have over 500 clients with Long-Term Care Insurance.

A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.

Planning Tools and Resources Available on LTC NEWS

Planning for the future is never easy, but long-term health care planning can be very complicated and comes with many emotions. Getting the right tools and resources will make the process much easier.

One of the goals is to reduce the stress and anxiety usually placed on your family at the time of crisis. LTC NEWS can be beneficial in providing you with important information for you to consider.

LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:

Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning

Need Help Now for Mom or Dad?

Long-Term Care Insurance pays billions in benefits to policyholders helping them access quality care, including at home, and reducing the stress and burden otherwise placed on family members. LTC NEWS has teamed up with Amada Senior Care to provide you with quality in-home care options, including free - no cost or obligation Long-Term Care Insurance claims processing and case management Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim.

If a loved one needs in-home care, whether they have LTC Insurance or not, Amada may be your choice for quality care options.

LTC NEWS has these comprehensive guides to help you in your process of finding care for a loved one now:


If your loved one is lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea. 

Be A Guest Contributor for LTC NEWS - Share Your Knowledge 

LTC NEWS is open to contributors to share their stories with the world. 

You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.

Be sure to write for our core target audience of adults aged 40 and older. Our audience is worldwide; however, our primary target is the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom, Australia, and other English-speaking nations. 

Improve your website or blog's SEO and gain exposure and traffic at the same time by being a contributor to LTC NEWS. 

You can even promote yourself, your business, and your website or blog. However, it must have editorial content exclusive to LTC NEWS and not just an advertisement. It can include links to other sites, and you can share the article link once published on your website or social media.

Email your story idea or article: - LTC News Contributors | LTC News

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LTC NEWS offers a variety of marketing and advertising options to help you reach your target audience. Our sponsored content articles are a highly effective way to drive traffic to your website, increase brand awareness, and build relationships with potential customers.

Benefits of Sponsored Content on LTC NEWS


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  • Improves SEO: Sponsored content articles are written in a way that is optimized for search engines, helping to improve your website's ranking in search results.

In summary, sponsored content on LTC NEWS is a powerful marketing tool that can help you boost website traffic, SEO, brand recognition, and audience engagement.

Learn more about how LTC NEWS can help market your business, drive traffic, and improve SEO - Advertise With Us | LTC News.

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LTC NEWS is a leading website for news and information about aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, long-term care, and retirement planning. We are always looking for new stories to share with our readers. 

If your group, organization, business, or political committee has news to share, we encourage you to submit a press release to us.

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