When we hear the word “caregiver,” someone under the age of 40 is probably the last thing that comes to mind. We more often than not imagine a spouse or an adult child in their 50s as a family caregiver. Believe it or not, one-third of Americans have assisted in the care of an older loved one by the time they reach age 40.
Millennial caregivers are similar to their older counterparts. Many caregivers are likely to misconstrue who pays for long-term care and miscalculate the need for long-term services and support. Millennial caregivers are also different. On average, they spend less time caring for their loved ones and claim they have more family support. They also are more stressed and are less volatile.
Millennial caregivers admit that many are unprepared to care for their loved ones. They are, however, less likely to support many of the policy changes proposed for supporting older adults. Only about 45 percent of millennial caregivers are in favor of tax subsidies to purchase private long-term care insurance. Their older counterparts are about 60 percent in favor of this policy change. About 53 percent of millennial caregivers believe that private insurance should have more responsibility when it comes to supporting older loved ones. Right now, only about 10 percent of long-term costs are covered by long-term care insurance. Health insurance does not cover any of the expenses of long-term care.
Medicare is another topic that millennial viewpoints differ. Currently, Medicare contributes little or no pay towards the costs of long-term care. 40 percent of millennials think Medicare should bear the majority of the costs. Millennials also have a more realistic take on Medicaid. Medicaid currently pays about one-third of the costs for long-term care, but one-third of millennials believe Medicaid should also cover the majority of long-term care financing. The families of an older loved one remain the most significant contributor to the costs of long-term care.