Are You Nuts? Long-Term Care Insurance for Employees?

By Gary Lefkowitz

If you are wondering how to stave off absenteeism or reduced productivity due to care giving, then this article is for you. A study conducted by the National Alliance for Caregiving and the National Center on Women and Aging at Brandeis University, called the Juggling Act Study, has some sobering news for business owners. If you don’t think it’s worth worrying about, the study found that US businesses lose between $11.4 to $29 billion per year due to care giving.

It also revealed that working care givers (someone who is caring for a chronically ill spouse or parent) can incur significant career development losses, reduced salary, diminished retirement income and substantial out-of-pocket expenses due to their care giving. For the employer, care giving has a direct impact on employee productivity. At least 84% of care givers made a minimum of one adjustment to their work schedules due to care giving. Things like making extensive phone calls, leaving work early and leave of absences are some of the costs.

If you have employees who are in the mid 40s to early 50s, the probability that care giving is an issue at your company is very high. You might be included, too! There are some things that you can do to provide help, such as contacting a geriatric care planner to come to your business and discuss ways that they could help your employees deal with this problem.

Consider offering a voluntary long-term care insurance plan for your employees. Some insurance companies offer a special discount for employees and their family members, including parents and parents-in-law, to purchase insurance through the business. There are extremely favorable tax incentives for both individuals and businesses that pay all or part of the premium.

Most of us are going to be addressing this issue. As an employer, for little or no cost to your business you can help your employees and yourself!

Gary Lefkowitz is President of Financial Benefits Inc. that provides a full service employee benefits program to employers in both the profit and non-profit sectors. For more information, please call 845-267-5518 or email

This article appeared in the November, 2002 issue of the Rockland Business World, a publication of the Journal News