Study: Millions of seniors good candidates to fund LTC with reverse mortgages

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A new study by the National Council on Aging finds that almost half of the country's 28 million homes with somebody 62 years or older are "good" candidates for a reverse mortgage as a means for financing their long-term care. The NCOA study is set to be released in August, according to the group's Web site.

The average amount each household could reap is just over $72,000, according to the study. Overall, eligible seniors could gain access to more than $300 billion from reverse mortgages, the NCOA estimates.

Home equity is many families' best source of funding for the financing of long-term care at home. Under a reverse mortgage, people 62 and older may receive cash for their home and then live in it until they're no longer able. Reverse mortgages are championed by state governments and many providers because such infusions of private cash would, at least theoretically, lessen the burden on state Medicaid budgets.

The NCOA report, "A National Blueprint for Increasing the Use of Reverse Mortgages in Long-Term Care," is being funded by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services and the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.