The purpose of this study was to examine the outreach effort and impact of a joint federal-state campaign, Own Your Future, promoting awareness and planning for long-term care (LTC) in the state of Washington. The study applied survey methodology to evaluate the extent of campaign dissemination, evidence of its impact on LTC planning behaviors, and barriers to purchasing private LTC insurance. A total of 3,198 survey responses from a randomly selected community sample and a Washington State employee sample (ages 51 to 71) were analyzed. Results indicated that the impact of the campaign was limited, both with respect to awareness of the campaign itself and to initiation of LTC planning behaviors. Quantitative data revealed a high prevalence of health-related problems (e.g., obesity, diabetes), inadequate knowledge of basic LTC-related information (e.g., cost, payers), and negative attitudes toward purchasing LTC insurance among respondents. Qualitative analyses suggested that respondents perceived significant problems related to affordability and accountability within the current LTC insurance industry. These possible barriers to the purchase of LTC insurance suggest targets to be addressed by policy makers seeking to find ways to offset the public costs of LTC.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This study was funded by a grant from the Research and Intramural Funding Program of the UW School of Nursing and supported by a postdoctoral fellowship in the Division of Public Behavioral Justice Policy in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and the Alzheimer’s Disease Research Center. The authors appreciate the support of Dr. Eric Trupin and the support and collaboration of the Washington State Governor’s Office. Special thanks to Mark Rupp, Washington, DC, Office, Office of Governor Gregoire (WA), Kathy Leitch, and Denise Gaither in Aging and Disability Services Administration, Department of Social and Health Services.
- Aging policy
- Baby Boomers
- Long-term care
- Retirement planning