According to EM-Power Services, a provider of long-term care insurance and employee benefits services, LTCI is an important benefit that should be offered by employers in 2012, especially as the U.S. is expected to face rapid growth among the age 65 and older population.
Here are the top five reasons EM-Power Services believes LTCI should be offered:
1. LTCI cuts health insurance costs
Working caregivers are projected to use 8 percent more health care services, adding $13 billion yearly to costs for conditions such as stress, anxiety, depression and physical ailments that come from providing care while working full time. LTCI helps cut this by providing helping pay for caregiving responsibilities.
2. LTCI increases productivity
EM-Power Services says six out of 10 of caregivers make work accommodations, including arriving late or leaving early, taking a leave of absence or working part time, but LTCI provides resources to pay for help, which keeps employees more focused on their jobs.
3. LTCI fills the “critical gap”
According to EM-Power Services, the average LTC medical facility costs more than $80,000 each year, which is growing 6 percent annually and draining savings and retirement funds. Additionally, many employees fail to understand that traditional health insurance does not cover this cost; thus, many people end up spending their 401(k) accounts to pay for LTC. Medicaid only is available once personal assets have been depleted.
4. Tax incentives mean low or no cost
The federal government considers premium payments as medical expenses, which are tax deductible for the employer. Because of this, an employer can offer LTCI as an employee benefit for little or no cost, though that is contingent upon the particular LTCI plan. Employers can pay LTCI selectively for owners, executives or other groups of employees.
5. Employers can better educate their employees
Offering LTCI allows employers to better educate the masses without adding cost to their overhead, EM-Power Services says. By offering LTCI, employees learn about the financial dangers of LTC before they are likely to develop health issues that prevent them from getting medically underwritten when coverage is least expensive.
BY AMANDA MCGRORY