Not only should the government and private insurance take bigger roles in paying for long-term care, but policies should be enacted to help older adults prepare for those costs, according to a new study.
The Associated Press-NORC Public Affairs Center’s “Support for Greater Government Role in Health Care for Seniors” study found bipartisan support for a range of policies to help defray the costs of long-term care and care, many of which would include an expanded role for the federal government.
Long-term care support
According to the survey, American adults think that private health insurers (60% of respondents) and the Medicare program (57%) should have a greater responsibility for paying the costs of long-term care. Fifty-three percent of respondents said the same about the Medicaid program, while 26% said the responsibility should be on individuals and 23% said it should be on families.
Older adults especially support policies to help pay for long-term care costs; 83% of respondents said they support long-term care coverage through Medicare Advantage or supplemental insurance, 78% said they support employer long-term care insurance plans, 75% support tax incentives for purchasing long-term care insurance, 73% support funding of government for low-income people to receive long-term care in their homes, 72% support tax-free funds to pay long-term care insurance premiums, and 69% support a government-backed long-term care insurance program.
Broad support was also seen for expanding Medicare into new coverage areas, including long-term care (81%), dental care (87%), eye exams (87%) and hearing aids (86%).
Health care coverage
Overall, 66% of respondents said it is the federal government’s responsibility to ensure that all Americans have health insurance coverage. Interestingly, 73% of respondents aged 18 to 49 agreed with this statement, while 58% of respondents aged 50 and over agreed. The study found that 47% of older respondents were more supportive of government policies that address the costs of care, while 38% of younger adults were more supportive of universal health care coverage.
Most respondents (62%) said they believe it’s worth paying more in taxes to keep health care less expensive.
Most respondents indicated support for changes to the American health care system that include increased government involvement. More than half (58%) support a public option for purchasing health insurance through the government. More than two-thirds (68%) said they favor requiring the government and private insurance plans to cover telehealth, and 80% said they support allowing the federal government and private insurance to negotiate lower prices. prescription drugs.
At the same time, public satisfaction with the state of health care in general and for the elderly appears to be low, with only 12% of respondents agreeing that health care in general is handled “very” or “extremely” well in the United States. United. Even fewer agreed that health care for older adults (11%), community support and resources for older adults (11%), and quality of care in nursing homes (6%) are well addressed.
Most adults expressed support for the government’s investment in COVID-19 care, including treatments (69%), vaccines and boosters (67%) and testing (64%), but many also said they are concerned about the country’s ability to to face another. pandemic. Only 13% of respondents said they think the country is extremely or very well prepared to handle a future public health emergency.
The AP-NORC Center study was funded by the SCAN Foundation and included 1,505 interviews with adults between July 28 and August 1.