The problem that long-term care poses is different for employers than it is for employees. This section addresses not only the problems that may occur for the employer when their employee needs care, but also the problems that may occur when the employee becomes a caregiver for a family member.
Problems Employers Face
When one of your employees needs long-term care, or must provide long-term care for someone at home, it may put your business at risk because it can have a great impact on your bottom line. You may not notice the cost immediately, but over time it may really add up.
If an employee is providing care for someone at home it is almost as if they have another full-time job. It may affect your business in the following ways:
- Decline in productivity
- Decreased willingness to relocate or travel for work
- Not able to work full-time or must leave job altogether
- Motivation and morale are compromised
- Interruptions during the day to handle phone calls or emergencies
- Increased stress which could result in health-related problems
- Replacement costs if employee needs to finally resign
My employees and their family members are already covered for long-term care through their health insurance or their disability insurance!
These types of coverage do NOT pay for long-term care. Health insurance pays for short-term medical care, and disability insurance only replaces a portion of their income. It does not also give them additional money to pay for long-term care.
Problems Employees Face
When an employee must provide care to someone at home it could end up costing them more money than they ever imagined. A study of caregivers over age 45 was recently conducted by the National Center for Women and Aging at Brandeis University and the National Alliance for Caregivers. The study focused on 30 people who had provided unpaid care for over eight hours per week. Based on their detailed financial records, the average LOSS over their lifetime in wages, pension, and Social Security benefits was $659,000. "Financial Gerontology." Journal of Financial Service Professionals, March 2000.
Employees that are caregivers could end up compromising their own health because providing care can result in health-related problems such as stress or even depression.
Young People Need Long-Term Care:
You may think that your employees are too young to need long-term care and that only older people need it. The following pie chart shows that 40% of the people that need long-term care are under the age of 65!
When Caring Isn't Enough - American Academy of Actuaries, January 1999 Percent of Working-Age Adults Needing LTC.