Washington, DC -- Today, LeadingAge unveils its vision for the future of long-term services and supports (LTSS) in a new report: A New Vision for Long-Term Services and Supports.

LeadingAge has been at the forefront of LTSS financing reform for more than a decade. We strongly believe that America must create a new system of paying for LTSS so families alone don’t shoulder the burden of paying for care their loved ones need.

LTSS, or needing help with everyday activities such as bathing, eating, or dressing, will affect about 50% of people over the age of 65. LTSS are expensive and not currently covered by Medicare. As a result, individuals must pay out of pocket. Families often resort to depleting savings and other retirement funds to pay for care. Eventually, people turn to Medicaid when they run out of money.

“We must no longer tolerate a system that bankrupts families and leaves older adults without the services they need to lead productive lives,” said Katie Smith Sloan, president and CEO of LeadingAge.

The report outlines 3 essential features of a universal LTSS insurance program:

  1. A universal approach to coverage.
  2. A catastrophic benefit period.
  3. A “managed cash” benefit structure.

“LeadingAge recognizes that a universal, catastrophic insurance approach might not be accepted readily in today’s budgetary and political environment,” continued Sloan. “However, given projected demographic trends, we are confident that the need for reform of the LTSS system will not disappear. We continue to advance the movement for reform that is guided by the principles of rationality, equity, and affordability.”

Read the full report.