2003 Study Panel Offers Ideas for Ensuring the Future of Long-Term Care for Baby Boomers

Producing issue briefs on diversity in long-term care for the baby boom

In 2003, the National Academy of Social Insurance convened a study panel on the future of the long-term-care system (see Appendix 1 for a list of members). The panel's work focused on two issues:

  • Developing a vision of a better long-term-care system and policies to promote it.
  • Developing a strategy to put long-term care on the national policy agenda.

The panel produced a final report, Developing a Better Long-Term Care Policy: A Vision and Strategy for America's Future, and two Issue Briefs, one on long-term-care models from abroad and the other on the public's view of long-term care.

Key Findings

Among the key findings of the panel are:

  • Three tenets should guide the long-term-care system of the future:
    • The needs of individuals should determine the kinds of services available.
    • Service delivery should preserve the autonomy of people receiving services.
    • The costs of services should be shared equitably among individuals, families and the society in which we live, and the services should be similarly available and affordable regardless of the state in which a person lives.
  • Transforming long-term care requires fundamental reform of its financing and a substantial commitment of federal resources. Because the need for long-term care is a risk, not a certainty, it should be handled like other unpredictable and potentially catastrophic events — through insurance.
  • Private long-term-care insurance, while growing, is affordable for only 10 to 20 percent of the elderly. Some degree of federal involvement is essential to assure access to long-term care without impoverishing families.

See Findings for further details.

Funding

The Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) provided $200,000 to support this unsolicited project from February 2003 through August 2005.

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