Action needed now to close massive funding gap
TORONTO, June 21, 2012 /CNW/ - 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
poll by Leger Marketing on behalf of the Canadian Life and Health
Insurance Association (CLHIA).
"Canadians have not adequately prepared for their future long-term care
needs," says 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 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.
Most worrisome is that the polling also shows that 55 per cent of
Canadians believe government health care programs cover half or more of
the cost of their long-term care needs.
Today, the CLHIA released a policy statement setting out a number of
recommendations to ensure that Canadians will have access to high
quality long-term care services through old age.
Swedlove added, "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." The Leger
poll showed that 77 per cent would prefer to receive care in their own
To address the funding shortfall, while also enhancing patient care, the
CLHIA concludes that:
Governments can help close the funding gap by being more effective in
how long-term care is provided to Canadians;
Canadians need incentives to take responsibility to protect themselves
from the possible high long-term care costs of the future and
governments can help; and
In order to meet the increased demand for resources, including long-term
care beds, health care professionals and volunteers, the public and
private sectors must work together to find solutions.
The CLHIA's paper makes a number of detailed recommendations for the consideration of
governments, stakeholders and Canadians after significant consultations
with academics, professionals and industry experts.
About the Survey
The survey was completed online from June 4th to June 6th, 2012 using
Leger Marketing's online panel, LegerWeb, with a sample of 1501 Canadians.
A probability sample of the same size would yield a margin of error of
±2.5%, 19 times out of 20.
About the CLHIA
The Canadian life and health insurance industry provides a wide range of
financial security products, including life insurance, annuities
(including RRSPs, RRIFs and pensions) and supplementary health
insurance, to about 26 million Canadians and their dependents.
Established in 1894, the CLHIA is a voluntary association whose member
companies account for 99 per cent of Canada's life and health insurance
SOURCE Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association Inc.
For further information:
Media enquiries contact:
Stephen Frank, Vice President, Policy Development and Health (416) 359-2965
Wendy Hope, Vice President, External Relations (613) 230-0031