Your business may be at risk-but not for the reasons you might think. Providing care for people who are not on your payroll could be costing you, in more ways than one!

Recent studies estimate that employers in this country are losing up to 29 billion dollars a year because of lost productivity 1. This is not due to their employees being hurt or sick, but because their employees are taking care of someone else.

Today, over 22 million families - almost one-in-four households in America - are providing long-term care (LTC) 2 - helping with dressing, bathing, eating, etc. - to a family member, relative, or close friend. As America ages, this number will continue to grow.

Most people who need long-term care want to stay at home, but having a health care professional visit just three times a week can cost over $12,000 a year. And full-time care at home may cost double the expense of a nursing home 3. Not many are able to afford that so they must turn to their family for care.

When an employee must help take care of a loved one, they may often have to take time off from work, or use vacation time or sick leave. These employees may arrive late, leave early and miss important business meetings. In more severe situations, they may have to reduce their hours, take unpaid leave, decline a promotion, or refuse to transfer to another location. In the worst cases, they may just have to quit.

The need for long-term care not only impacts your bottom line, it also may impact the retirement security of your employees. While many employers encourage employees to take advantage of 401k, IRA and other retirement programs, and my even contribute financially to them, most fail to encourage them to help protect the nest egg they are working so hard to build.

Fortunately, your company can be part of the solution. By incorporating LTC insurance into your employee benefit program you can keep your employees productive and help them and their families better prepare for their future.

  • 1 "MetLife Juggling Act Study." Mature Market Institute MetLife, November 1999.
  • 2 "Financial Gerontology." Journal of Financial Service Professionals, March 2000
  • 3 Study: Long Term Care Crisis Ahead." Best Review, May 1999.

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