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As Americans think about paying for long-term care for themselves or their family members, three in 10 (30%) adults say that they would expect private insurance to be the main source of funds if they or a family member needed nursing home care, according to a new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation. In reality, private insurance pays for only a small share of nursing home expenses (8%), while Medicaid pays nearly half of these costs nationwide.


Overall, nearly half (46%) of all Americans say they have had a family member or close friend in a nursing home in the past 3 years. Just more than one in three (35%) people say that nursing homes are doing a "good job" serving consumers, far fewer than those who report the same about nurses (84%), doctors (69%), and hospitals (64%). Nursing homes also rank below pharmaceutical companies (43%) but just above health insurance companies (34%) and health maintenance organizations (30%).


The findings are based on a Kaiser Health Poll Report survey conducted June 2-5 among a national random sample of 1202 adults. The margin of sampling error was +/-3%.


The full Featured Topic analyzes public opinion research available on people's experiences and views about nursing homes and long-term care, including the government's role in regulating nursing home quality and their sources of information about nursing homes. It is available online at