The Role of Private Insurance in Financing Long-Term Care

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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.