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As Nursing Home Care Claims Drop, Home-Care Claims Rise

The odds that you will receive health care services in your own home rather than in a nursing home are increasing exponentially.

The latest evidence shows up in two studies of claims submitted under long-term care insurance policies. A new report by the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance shows that 43 percent of all LTC claims in 2007 were for home care, up from 33.9 percent in 2006.

Over the same period, LTC claims involving nursing home care declined from 36.5 percent of the total to 24.1 percent. Claims for care in an assisted living facility rose from 29.6 percent to 32.9 percent.

The industry paid $3.5 billion in claims last year, up from $3.3 billion in 2006, said Jesse Slome, executive director of the association.

An earlier report by the Society of Actuaries showed 26 percent of all LTC claims in 2004 paid for home care, compared with just 15 percent in 2002.

This shift toward more care provided in the home is being driven by several trends, from an increase in the elderly population to efforts to trim Medicaid expenses.

People with LTC policies, Slome said, are more likely to seek help earlier. People without LTC insurance often put off seeking care, he said, because they fear running out of assets, regardless of the size of their nest egg.


This article was written by a professional financial journalist for Legend Financial Advisors, Inc.® and is not intended as legal or investment advice.

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