Today, world’s population is aging at a very fast pace and United States is no exception to this demographic change. According to the U.S Census Bureau, senior citizens will be accounted for 21% of the American population in 2050 (Older Americans, 2012). Although living longer lives may not seem like a negative sign, living longer does not necessarily mean living healthier. Older adults of today are in need of long-term and health care services more than any generation before them (Older Americans, 2012). Because of the growing need for senior care, millions of families are facing critical decisions on how to provide care for their parents. In addition, declining birthrates may cause people to have less familial care and support as they age. To be able to provide the necessary care for senior citizens government funded long term care insurance program is needed.
Medicare is the federal program that provides health coverage for people who are 65 and older (Green, 2003). Although many assume that Medicare provides long-term care, these benefits are very limited and are not efficient enough to accommodate the much needed care services for older adults. For example, Medicare programs do not help to pay for personal care services such as eating, dressing or using the bathroom even though these “activities of daily life” are the most needed services for most seniors (Green, 2003). These care services can be provided to seniors by the long term care insurance program. According to the national survey that was conducted among people who are 55 and older, just 36% believed that they would need long term insurance (Carter, 2008). However, it's estimated that at least 60% of people over age of 65 will require some long-term care services at some point in their lives (Carter, 2008). Moreover, the growth in long term care costs for elderly is driving significant increases in government health expenditures. This cost growth may become very problematic as millions of baby boomers age over the next decades. By 2050, total Medicaid spending could “exceed 6.5 percent of GDP, the equivalent of $900 billion today” (Green, 2003).
Government funded long term care insurance program can provide care services such as; bathing, dressing, eating, transferring, toileting, and continence for seniors. It also can help senior citizens to protect their financial assets as well as providing financial and emotional support for the family members. In addition, long term insurance program would ensure older adults to receive quality care, and they would have the freedom to decide where and when to get the care services.
The long term care insurance program can be designed as a “pay-as-you-go system” similar to the one that is established by Japan and financed by a combination of both contributions and general tax revenues (Jones, 2009). A payment system which can be a combination of payroll...