Boomers worry about health insurance in retirementNews added by Benefits Pro on September 26, 2013

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By Paula Aven Gladych

This should sound familiar: Middle-income baby boomers are excited about retirement but concerned that they won’t have enough health insurance and won’t be as financially secure as they are right now.

A study by the Bankers Life and Casualty Co. Center for a Secure Retirement surveyed nearly 1,300 Americans between the ages of 49 and 67 with an annual household income between $25,000 and $75,000 and found that the majority of respondents do not believe their retirement care will be the same as in previous generations.

Sixty percent of them are afraid they won't have enough health insurance provided by a previous employer, a growing trend reflected in the rising number of employers that have reduced their health benefits in advance of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.

Boomers characterize retirement care of the past as including reliance on family members for care, nursing homes and moving in with their children — elements of retirement care that will be less common in the future.

Most now expect to take care of themselves in retirement.

According to the study, they expect care of the future to include the use of remote monitoring technology, independent living communities, high-priced care, outpatient care and long-term care insurance.

Boomers are changing expectations for retirement care. Nearly eight times as many boomers, 84 percent, prefer to receive care at home as those preferring a nursing home facility (11 percent), or care at the home of one of their children (11 percent).

When asked whom they prefer to administer their care, the majority preferred their spouse to fulfill that role

Many middle-income boomers with adult caregiving experience have different opinions, priorities and behaviors regarding their future retirement care than those of their non-caregiver peers.

Those who have taken care of someone else in the past are more likely to believe they may need long-term care in the future. They also are more likely to have a retirement care plan than their non-caregiving counterparts and be more open to meeting with a professional advisor than those without caregiving experience.

“Increasingly, the responsibility for retirement security is falling on the shoulders of retirees themselves,” said Chris Campbell, senior vice president of marketing and communications at Bankers Life and Casualty Company, a national life and health insurer. “While boomers recognize that retirement is changing, more planning and preparation for their retirement and, in particular, for the care they may need in retirement would be a positive step toward ensuring retirement security.”

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