Long-Term Care in Latin America and the Caribbean? Theory and Policy Considerations

Inter-American Development Bank
Martín Caruso Bloeck, Sebastian Galiani, Pablo Ibarrarán

IDB Working Paper Series ; 834

Published online: August, 2017

Abstract / Resumen:

IDBThis paper discusses theoretical and practical issues related to long-term care (LTC) services in Latin America. Demand for these services will rise as the region undergoes a swift demographic transition from its currently young population to a rapidly aging one, especially since the region’s aging cohorts are more prone to experience a decline in their functional and physical abilities than elderly people elsewhere in the world. We argue that private insurance markets are ill-equipped to provide coverage to meet the need for LTC, while the amount of personal savings required to afford self-insurance is prohibitively high. We study how developed economies have dealt with the issue of LTC and pay special attention to the most salient features of their LTC programs. We then direct the discussion to Latin America, where LTC may not be an immediate priority, but governments are likely to encourage the development of LTC programs as demand for them steadily grows. In particular, policymakers are probably going to focus initially on LTC programs for the poor and the vulnerable, for whom LTC affordability is a greater problem. We therefore study how basic elements of policy design affect costeffectiveness of LTC programs by means of a formal model. Our study shows that pro-poor programs are more cost effective when people have the option to receive cash subsidies, and the availability of in-kind and in-cash choices reduces program costs overall. We argue that our findings are natural starting points to start thinking about LTC program development in the region.

Link to the publication: http://bit.ly/2fFbuaT

* The author/source alone is responsible for the views expressed in this article/publication or information resource, and they do not necessarily represent the positions, decisions or policies of the Pan American Health Organization. = El autor/fuente es el único responsable por las opiniones expresadas en este artículo/publicación o recurso de información y no necesariamente representan las posiciones, decisiones o políticas de la Organización Panamericana de la Salud.

2 thoughts on “Long-Term Care in Latin America and the Caribbean? Theory and Policy Considerations

  1. Maureen Wijngaarde-van Dijk

    Thank you for sharing this publication. This is very relevant for Suriname. I shared with the Minister of Health and the Speaker of the House, amongst others. I haven’t read it yet.

    Kind regards,
    Maureen Wijngaarde-van Dijk
    Director of Health
    Ministry of Health

    1. Editor Equity/Equidad Post author

      Dear Maureen Wijngaarde-van Dijk,
      thank you very much for your feedback. He hope the Equity List keeps providing relevant information for our valuable members.

      Eliane Santos (The Equity List Moderator).

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