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Many Americans believe AI will provide their in-home care as they age

Survey: Nearly one third would talk to robots if feeling lonely and almost half would share their medical history with AI

Columbus, OH – Less than a year since the launch of the popular Artificial Intelligence (AI) chatbot ChatGPT, Americans are embracing AI-based care as they age. One third of Americans and over half (58%) of millennials believe AI and robotics will provide their future in-home long-term care.

According to the annual Nationwide Retirement Institute Long-Term Care survey, conducted in partnership with LIMRA in May 2023, this survey of 1,439 U.S. adults aged 24 or over found that younger generations were particularly apt to embrace the technology.

Among the key findings:

  • Daily functions: More than one in three (35%) Americans would accept help from a robot for activities such as toileting, dressing and transferring. This rises to 52% among millennials and declines with older generations (23% for boomers and 36% for Gen Xers).
  • Companionship: Nearly the same amount (32%) say they would talk to robots/AI if they are feeling lonely. This increases to about half (52%) of millennials.
  • Physical safety: Almost seven out of ten (68%) Americans would use AI to alert family/friends if they were to experience a fall or physical danger (63% boomers, 70% Gen X, 72% millennials).
  • Medical history: Nearly half (48%) of Americans say they would share their medical history with AI to help support their care needs. This figure increases to 65% for millennials.

In response to the increasing acceptance and adoption of AI-based care, Nationwide is testing eldercare robots in homes of select policyholders with mobility issues. The goal of this trial is to assess if the robots increase the potential for policyholders to age in their home and remain independent.

“It is difficult for many families to find quality care for their loved ones. We are considering AI and robotics as potential solutions for this and are identifying if eldercare robots could become credible, compelling examples of extraordinary care for our members,” said Holly Snyder, president of Nationwide’s Life Insurance business. “As we continue to see advancements in AI and an uptick in consumer adoption, AI and robotics could permanently change how people receive their long-term care and provide them with more opportunity to safely remain independent for longer.”

Many adults mistakenly believe they have long-term care coverage
The survey reveals that 18% of adults report that they currently own long-term care insurance, including 27% of millennials. However, industry data shows only 3.1% of Americans have purchased long-term care insurance and most of those are older consumers.*

More than half (51%) who mistakenly thought they owned long-term care insurance confused it with long-term disability insurance. Almost a third (30%) confused it with health insurance.

In conjunction with the survey, Nationwide conducted focus groups made up of four different demographics: baby boomers, Gen Xers, millennials and those who believe they had long-term care coverage. Unsurprisingly, these sessions revealed that like survey respondents, focus group participants also often mistakenly confused long-term care insurance with their long-term disability insurance or health insurance. Neither of these cover long-term care expenses.

“Many Americans – mostly millennials – mistakenly believe they have long-term care coverage, usually in their company’s benefit package, when in fact they do not,” said Snyder. “Though this misconception is understandable, it puts them at danger of discovering that they don’t have coverage much later on when they really need it.”

Americans have concerns about how to manage aging
Though many Americans don’t own long-term care policies, they do have very real concerns about how to manage the aging process and its associated costs.

For example:

  • Nearly half of respondents (49%) are worried they'll become a burden to their family as they age
  • Almost a third (28%) say they would rather die than live in a nursing home
  • More than a quarter (26%) believe paying for long-term care will diminish their children's inheritance

"Too many Americans are missing crucial planning steps to make sure they’re set up for success as they age,” said Snyder. “The first step is to understand what’s important to you and your family. From there, we recommend talking to a financial professional to help build a plan.”

Financial professionals need to bring up long-term care planning
While more than half (51%) say it is important that a financial professional discuss long-term care costs with them, fewer than one in five adults (18%) say they have actually discussed long-term planning with their financial professional. In fact, more than one in four adults (27%) across all age groups have not discussed long-term care costs with anyone. The good news is 30% say they would discuss long-term care costs with a financial professional in the future.

“Financial professionals need to be proactive in helping families plan for important long-term care issues, including how to pay for it,” Snyder added. “Even if a client believes they are covered, we suggest probing them with some follow-up questions to be sure they are, in fact, protected. If not, financial professionals have an important role in helping them put together a plan of action.”

To encourage discussions around long-term care costs in retirement, Nationwide’s Health Care/LTC Cost Assessment tool uses proprietary health risk analysis and updated actuarial cost data to provide a meaningful, personalized cost estimate to help financial professionals and clients plan for future medical and long-term care expenses.

To learn more about the importance of long-term care planning, visit www.nationwide.com/LTCbasics. Financial professionals can learn more in this blog and at www.nationwidefinancial.com/LTC

The 2023 Nationwide Retirement Institute/NCOA Long-term Care survey was conducted online within the United States between adults aged 25 and over by LIMRA on behalf of The Nationwide Retirement Institute. Survey participants were drawn from a nationwide consumer panel and data collection occurred between 4/25/2023 and 5/12/2023. The sample was weighted by race/ethnicity and income and included quotas for age and gender to approximate U.S. general population representation.

About Nationwide

Nationwide, a Fortune 100 company based in Columbus, Ohio, is one of the largest and strongest diversified insurance and financial services organizations in the United States. Nationwide is rated A+ by both A.M. Best and Standard & Poor’s. An industry leader in driving customer-focused innovation, Nationwide provides a full range of insurance and financial services products including auto, business, homeowners, farm and life insurance; public and private sector retirement plans, annuities, mutual funds and ETFs; excess & surplus, specialty and surety; pet, motorcycle and boat insurance. For more information, visit www.nationwide.com. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

*"Do Consumer Really Understand Long-Term Care Insurance". LIMRA.com. 11/15/2022.

This material is not a recommendation to buy or sell a financial product or to adopt an investment strategy. Investors should discuss their specific situation with their financial professional.

This information is general in nature and is not intended to be tax, legal, accounting or other professional advice. The information provided is based on current laws, which are subject to change at any time, and has not been endorsed by any government agency.

Nationwide and LIMRA are separate and non-affiliated companies.

Nationwide Investment Services Corporation (NISC), member FINRA, Columbus, OH. Nationwide Retirement Institute is a division of NISC.

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