Three-quarters of Canadians not prepared for long-term health-care costs: Survey

$1.2 trillion needed to provide long-term care to baby boomers: CLHIA
||Last Updated: 06/21/2012

Three-quarters of Canadians (74 per cent) admit they have no financial plan to pay for long-term care if they needed it, according to a new survey released by the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association (CLHIA).

"Canadians have not adequately prepared for their future long-term care needs," said Frank Swedlove, president of the CLHIA. "Baby boomers are aging and unless action is taken now, they will fall well short in funding their long-term care. Governments and Canadians have to work together to help close the gap by being more effective in how long-term care is provided."

The CLHIA estimates that it will cost almost $1.2 trillion to provide long-term care to the baby boomer generation as they pass through old age, and that current government programs and funding will only cover about one-half of this. The resulting $590 billion funding shortfall is the equivalent of about 95 per cent all individual registered savings plans in Canada today.

More than one-half (55 per cent) of the 1,500 Canadians surveyed believe government health-care programs cover one-half or more of the cost of their long-term care needs.

"Not only does the current long-term care system not have adequate capacity for our future needs, but patient care suffers as too often care is provided in inappropriate settings," said Swedlove.

More than three-quarters (77 per cent) of Canadians would prefer to receive care in their own homes, found the survey.

To address the funding shortfall, CLHIA recommends:

Governments help close the funding gap by being more effective in how long-term care is provided to Canadians

•Canadians are provided with incentives to take responsibility to protect themselves from the possible high long-term care costs of the future

•Public and private sectors work together to find solutions.

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