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Data User's Guide for the Public Use File of the Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning

Publication Date

With the aging of the population, the demand and need for long-term care (LTC) is certain to grow, and with it public and private expenditures. Unlike medical care, where insurance is common, few people have private LTC insurance, and Medicare does not cover LTC. Many older adults pay for LTC out of their income and personal savings until they qualify for Medicaid. Others, to avoid exhausting their financial resources and relying on Medicaid, depend on unpaid family support or go without needed services.

To help inform federal policy on LTC financing and service delivery, the Survey of Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning, sponsored by ASPE, collected new national data on Americans’ awareness and attitudes towards LTC and how people plan for retirement. More specifically, the main goals of the survey were: (1) to understand consumer attitudes, knowledge, and experiences with LTC, how people plan for the risk of needing LTC, and people’s preferences among options for LTC financing; and (2) to examine consumer preferences for specific features of individual LTC insurance policies (e.g., benefit levels, length of coverage, and sponsorship).

Information about LTC and retirement planning was obtained from a large sample of individuals 40-70 years of age who were part of an ongoing Internet panel maintained by GfK Custom Research, LLC. A survey instrument was developed by RTI International in consultation with ASPE and a Technical Expert Panel on LTC, LTC insurance, and survey methodology. [28 PDF report pages; 138 PDF total pages]