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LTC Bullet: Private Financing of LTC Projected to Grow Faster than Public

Friday September 18, 1998


*The following is courtesy of The Larson Long-Term Care Group, publisher of LTC News & Comment. LTC news and views are featured on Larson Long-Term Care's web site www.*

Total expenditures for nursing home care are projected by the Health Care Financing Administration (HCFA) to grow 70% from 1998 to 2007 ($87 billion to $148 billion). However, Out-of-Pocket payments are projected to grow 87% ($25 billion to $47 billion). While Medicaid payments for nursing home care are projected to grow 55% during this period ($41 billion to $63 billion), payments from private health insurance are projected to grow the most: from $5 billion to $11 billion (127%).

Home health care will grow more in expenditures: 100% between 1998 and 2007 ($33 billion to $66 billion). Out-of-pocket payments for home health care will soar to 150% ($7 billion to $17 billion), while Medicare's costs, now the major payer, will grow only 70% ($14 billion to
$23 billion). Payments from private health insurance are projected to grow 140% ($4 billion to $9 billion). Medicaid's costs for home care are projected to grow 140% also, from $5 billion to $12 billion.

Total national health care expenditures are projected to grow 86% ($1,146.8 billion to $2,133.3 billion) between 1998 and 2007. [Source: HCFA, released on the internet, 9/16/98.]

COMMENT: HCFA projects that private financing for LTC will grow faster than public expen-ditures. This is an important new trend in the financing of LTC because it proves that govern-ment has finally recognized that it cannot, and, therefore, will not assume the growing burden of paying for LTC. Consumers will get this message as they begin to feel the bite more and more.

*LTC Bullets Editor's Note: HCFA's findings are reported in Sheila Smith, et al., "The Next Ten Years of Health Spending: What Does the Future Hold?," Health Affairs, Vol. 17, No. 5, Sept./ Oct. 1998, pps. 128-140.*