How one caregiver uses her own personal experience to help develop insurance solutionExcerpts from the Securian 2018 Caregiver Survey. Read the full report here.
Kim Anderson’s mother has been struggling with Alzheimer’s disease for five years and has lost her ability to walk, stand, feed herself and speak. When the emotional and financial burden of being the primary caregiver became too high for Kim—a married, full-time working mother—her family moved her mother into a skilled memory care facility near their home in St. Paul, Minnesota. To help cover the costs, her father moved in with her family of four. Stories like Kim’s are all too common already and according to a National Association of Insurance Commissioners report, 15 million Americans are expected to have a high long-term care need by 2050.
A recent Securian survey of caregivers found that many share similar concerns. Half of those employed at the time they became caregivers said it affected their job performance, with 15 percent of those impacted saying they took a leave of absence from work to provide care and another 12 percent saying they quit their job entirely.
Unfortunately, while people struggle to pay for the rising costs of long-term care, the standalone long-term care insurance market is in turmoil. Numerous insurers have stopped offering the insurance entirely, and most of those that have stayed in the market have increased premiums substantially.
Securian has enhanced its hybrid product (see news release) to pay benefits using a cash-indemnity style model. Unlike standalone long-term care insurance and even most hybrid products, Securian’s product can cover multiple care options—including compensating family caregivers so they can provide for their loved ones without worrying about the financial burden of missing work.
Kim manages product research for Securian Financial and leveraged her own personal experience to guide the development of Securian’s life insurance with long-term care benefits combination product. These hybrid life/long-term care insurance products are fast-growing alternatives to standalone long-term care insurance.
2018 Caregver Survey
Here are excerpt from Securian’s 2018 caregiver research, which focuses on determining the
difficulties facing caregivers, as well as perceptions and opinions surrounding long-term care insurance. This
document contains an overview of key findings and topline data for all survey questions.
The majority of caregivers (60%) spend more than 10 hours per week caring for a family member, and about
one in four (29%) spend more than 20 hours a week caregiving.
- Those who spend the most amount of time caregiving (more than 20 hours/week) tend to be older, not
currently working, and not parenting children in their household
- Women (32%) are also more likely than men (26%) to spend more than 20 hours each week on
Most caregivers (55%) characterize their role as “supportive,” but one-third also indicate more negative
feelings of being “concerned” (33%) or “overwhelmed” (32%) in their role as caregiver.
- Slightly more caregivers feel “honored” (30%) to care for their family member than “obligated” (28%)
- Those who spend fewer hours each week caregiving are more likely than those who spend more than
15 hours/week on their caregiver duties to associate their role with positive emotions like “supportive”
and “honored.” Conversely, those who spend more of their time caregiving are more likely to feel
“concerned” or “overwhelmed”
Caregivers find it most difficult to maintain emotional stability (60%) and finding a healthy balance between
time spent caregiving and time spent with other members of their immediate family (56%)
- Keeping up with day-to-day tasks (54%) and maintaining financial well-being (52%) are also difficult for
caregivers, with one in six caregivers (17%) saying it is “very difficult” for them to sustain financial wellbeing.
- Caregivers have less difficulty maintaining their physical health, though nearly one-half (45%) of
caregivers found it difficult to do so
- Those who spend the most time caregiving (more than 20 hours/week) find it more difficult to maintain
each of the various life aspects than their counterparts do – reporting a difficulty rate 5-9% higher than
the average across each life aspect.
Half of those who held jobs at the time they became a caregiver say their caregiving duties affected their job
performance – the most common impact was causing them to take days off from work (41%)
- In addition to having to take days off, more than one-fifth (22%) of caregivers say that their hours or
responsibilities at work were reduced due to their caregiving duties
- Moreover, 15% of employed caregivers had to take a leave of absence from work, and 12% said they
quit working altogether because of their caregiving responsibilities
- Those with children at home, millennials and those who spend the most time caregiving (more than 20
hours/week) are more likely to say that their job performance was affected after they took on a role as
Nearly 8 in 10 caregivers (79%) have had positive experiences as a caregiver that have been personally
fulfilling or have strengthened their family relationships, and three-fourths have made plans for their future
care because of their experiences.
- Only about three in ten (29%) caregivers say they did not have the knowledge and resources to support
the person they provide care for throughout their time as a caregiver
- However, seven in ten (70%) say they have regularly experienced stress and anxiety in their role as a
- Those who spend the most time caregiving (more than 20 hours/week) experience the broadest range
of emotions: they are the most likely group to say they have had positive experiences as a caregiver
(82%), but also the most likely to report regularly having stress and anxiety because of their role (78%).
Forty three percent of caregivers say the person they are caring for has long-term care insurance, while 48%
say they do not, and another 8% are unsure
- Those who care for a family member for more than 20 hours/week are the least likely (34%) to say that
the person they care for has long-term care insurance, while the rate is relatively even (between 44%
and 49%) among those who spend 0-20 hours per week caregiving
- Millennials (61%) are more likely than both Gen X (46%) and Baby Boomers (29%) to be caring for family
members who have long-term care insurance
The overwhelming majority of caregivers (86%) are satisfied with the benefits associated with their family
member’s long-term care insurance, though about one-third say the insurance doesn’t cover the things they
think it should (37%) and doesn’t cover their own expenses as a non-compensated caregiver (28%).
- Satisfaction with long-term care benefits is widespread across all caregivers, though women are slightly
more dissatisfied (17%) with the insurance benefits than male caregivers are (10%)
- Rising premiums (25%) and excessive paperwork (24%) are also cited as challenges associated with
long-term care insurance by about one in four caregivers, but complicated benefits or benefit changes
do not seem to be much of a roadblock for caregivers (16% each)
Cost is the number one reason why people have not purchased long-term care insurance.
- Half of caregivers (50%) say long-term care products are “too expensive” for the person they provide
care for, while another 10% say they didn’t think it was a worthwhile investment
- Awareness is less of an issue, with just 13% of caregivers pointing to a lack of knowledge about the
product as the main reason their family member does not have long-term care insurance
- Just 7% point to a complicated or unclear benefit structure as the main deterrent to purchasing
insurance, and another 19% say they do not know why their family member does not have insurance
Read the entire report here.
This online survey was conducted among 816 caregivers age 18+ from Wednesday, February 14, 2018 –
Wednesday, February 21, 2018. Age, gender, and region quotas were put into place to ensure the sample and
data was representative of the national caregiver population.