Social care financing options in the United States: who is responsible and which options do people support?
Joshua Wiener | RTI International
This paper assesses attitudes of the general population regarding financing social care in the United States. Using data from the Long-Term Care Awareness and Planning Survey, we find that most people supported individual responsibility and voluntary options. Approximately 62 percent of respondents said that they ‘strongly agree/agree’ with the view that it is the responsibility of individuals to finance their social care; conversely, about 37 percent of people stated that they ‘strongly agree/agree’ with the view that it is the responsibility of government to help pay for social care. Among policy options presented, about two-thirds of respondents supported tax incentives or other mechanisms to encourage private long-long care insurance. While only 18 percent of respondents supported a mandatory public long-term care insurance program, support for a voluntary public insurance program was high. Distrust of government to run a public long-term care insurance program (53 percent) was higher than distrust of private insurers (32 percent). Unexpectedly, there were few differences by sociodemographic characteristics.