Private insurance currently plays a small, but potentially important role in financing the long-term care of the elderly in the United States. Some believe it can be a significant element in a restructured long-term care financing system. However, to date, the demand for such insurance has been modest. This brief will discuss the potential benefits of long-term care insurance, review its current structure and status, and explore possible explanations for low takeup rates. Finally, it will consider future issues surrounding the role of this product.