Long-term health care is becoming an important issue for an increasing number of people. Not only are people living longer than at any time in the past, the cost of long-term care continues to rise. Before 1980, the median age of the population in the United States was 30; estimates are that by 2010 the median age will be 37.
The fastest growing portion of the population is those over age 65 and, of that group, the segment consisting of those over the age of 85 is growing the fastest. As people grow older, they tend to have more health problems, with some people requiring long-term health care. Consequently, one of the most pressing problems facing a significant portion of the elderly is the cost of long-term health care. Data from the American Health Care Association indicates that the average American male can expect to spend $56,895 on long-term care and the average woman $124,370.