LTC Bullet: Does LTCI Make a Difference?

Friday June 1, 2001


How does owning private long-term care insurance affect the lives of caregivers for the elderly? That is the critical question addressed in a report recently published by the Mature Market Institute of the Metropolitan Life Insurance Company. Titled "The MetLife Study of Employed Caregivers: Does Long Term Care Insurance Make a Difference?," this report recounts the findings from a nationwide study by the National Alliance For Caregiving and LifePlans, Inc. The report is online at For more information, call 203-221-6580 or e-mail MetLife at

We'll let the report's remarkable conclusions speak for themselves:

"*Holding other factors constant, those caring for disabled elders with long-term care insurance are nearly two times as likely to stay in the workforce than are those caring for non-insured disabled individuals.

"*Insurance-financed care does not result in a significant reduction in the time working caregivers devote to caring. However, working caregivers of those with long-term care insurance devote more 'quality time'--more companionship and less hands-on assistance with basic living activities than those without.

"*Caring for someone with long-term care insurance can reduce certain work disruptions among working caregivers. Sandwich Generation caregivers and those caring for very disabled elders are most likely to benefit.

"*Long-term care insurance can reduce certain 'social' stresses among working caregivers, i.e., the feeling that caregiving interferes with their emotional/social well-being or health.

"*Insured care recipients do not report a difference in the adequacy of family caregiving due to the work status of the family caregiver. The level of reported undermet ADL need among insured care recipients with working and non-working caregivers is similar.

"Long-term care insurance appears to play an important role in keeping caregivers in the workforce and in reducing certain workplace disruptions and social stresses. This may be very significant for employers who are looking at corporate eldercare and policymakers who want to reduce the negative economic effects of caregiving. Additional research on workplace, caregiving, and insurance issues will provide more knowledge about how to support family caregiving and meet the needs of working caregivers."

Source: "The MetLife Study of Employed Caregivers: Does Long Term Care Insurance Make a Difference?," MetLife Mature Market Institute, March 2001, p. 8.