Another long-term care insurance option for Boomers


My grandmother died at home in her own bed, surrounded by her 13 children and dozens of grandchildren. Her daughters and daughters-in-law cared for her the last six months when she was bedridden and in pain.

For today's aging Baby Boomers, however, that scenario is unlikely to be repeated because families are a fraction of the size they were two generations ago. As gerontologist and Boomer expert Ken Dychtwald says, "There's going to be a caregiving crunch because there's no family for Boomers to rely on. They'll have to turn to professional caregivers."

And that takes money. Big money.

Here are some details on the new federal long-term care program, Class Act. The Congressional Budget Office assumed a $123 average monthly premium – that's $1,476 per year with a $50 to $60 per day payout should you qualify by being unable to perform two of the six activities of daily living (eating, bathing, dressing, toileting, transferring and maintaining continence, or cognitive impairment).

In the world of long-term care, $50 to $60 per day is a pittance. Insurer Genworth annually surveys the cost of long-term care nationwide. Its latest survey, released last month, concludes that the median cost of nursing home care in a private room is $206 a day. Even at the lowest care level, the median cost of hiring a licensed homemaker is $18 per hour or $144 for an eight-hour shift.