Establishing Eldercare Employee Benefits and Long Term Care Insurance
The bottom line for most employers is that 20 to 30 percent of workers care for their elders. Companies are facing the increasing problem of absenteeism in their work force. In the 1970′s many companies were faced with the problem of absenteeism because of childcare and initiatives were put in place to allow employee extended leaves and restructuring of work schedules.
Some 40 percent of companies today give their employees resources to find childcare in the community. Compared to child care corporate benefits, elder care by and large remains a sleeping giant. Programs do exist give employees information on locating elder care, referral services, and unpaid family leave. Studies by MetLife Insurance have shown that employers stand to save $3 to $5 for every dollar they invest in helping employees find eldercare resources.
The California Public Employees Retirement System (CalPERS) has developed a longterm care insurance program that it offers to its employees, retirees, and family members. The program is gaining enormous popularity and as it stands today is has issued more LTC insurance policies than anyone else in California.
There is a popular mistaken belief that Medicare and Medicaid will cover the costs of Long Term Care as people reach retirement. Medicare has very limited coverage in terms of long term care often amounting to as little as 20 days of skilled care and after that the coverage is completely phased out. In fact, up to 53 percent of boomers surveyed in one study mistakenly believed that Medicare would take care of their long term care coverage.
The Medicaid option is losing its value because of what is called “Medicaid Creep” whereby many individuals are capitalizing on loopholes in finance reporting are getting aid that is normally reserved for people who are poor. Initiatives need to be taken to inform people that Medicare does not cover long term care.
Private long-term insurance is becoming more popular as more companies are seeing the profit in providing LTC insurance to boomers. The LTC insurance option is still very new and the system still needs to iron out some kinks. Life insurance capitalizes on people’s fear of dying too young wheras in the future, LTC insurance will grow on people’s fear of living too long. The quality and scope of LTC options is expected to increase in the coming years as the government tights its controls on Medicaid and people realize how much of their retirement saving will be drained from having commit to long term care.