Experts: Medicare should help pay for long-term care coverage

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Adding a long-term care benefit to the Medicare program would be a favorable way to help address the impending challenges related to the aging baby-boom generation, healthcare experts say in a new Commonwealth Fund/Modern Healthcare survey.

Of the 196 experts polled, nearly four out of five support adding the government benefit, which would be supported by a premium. A total of 64% would be in favor of a tax incentive to help individuals buy their own long-term care insurance. The report also finds that nearly 70% of healthcare experts and opinion makers believe the issue of long-term care financing and reform should be a top priority for the presidential candidates this election cycle.

Abuses in the long-term care insurance industry are also a matter of concern for these experts, according to the report. A total of 91% are in favor of stricter government regulations to quash unfair insurance practices. The report, which was released Monday, can be found at www.commonwealthfund.org.