Projecting Long-Term Care Costs for Home and Community-Based Services in China from 2005 to 2050

Published:December 08, 2022DOI:



      The aim of this study was to estimate and project the trend in long-term care (LTC) costs for home and community-based services as a percentage of gross domestic product in China between 2005 and 2050.



      Setting and Participants

      We used 61,249 observations from 37,702 adults age ≥65 years from waves 2005, 2008, 2011, 2014, and 2018 of the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Surveys.


      LTC costs for home and community-based services consisted of the monetary value of time spent on LTC and the direct LTC cost. We used the age-sex-residence-specific weights provided by the Chinese Longitudinal Healthy Longevity Surveys to estimate the LTC costs from 2005 to 2018. We used a component-based model to project LTC costs, in which the 2-part model was used to estimate the average LTC costs and the multi-state Markov model approach was used to project the future population by age, sex, and disability state.


      The percentage of older adults with disabilities was projected to increase from 6.1% in 2005 to 7.5% in 2020 and 9.6% in 2050. The total LTC cost for home and community-based services were projected to increase from 0.3% of gross domestic product in 2005 to 0.7% in 2020 and to 6.4% in 2050.

      Conclusions and Implications

      Policymakers in China should take urgent actions to delay the onset of disabilities among older adults, which would curb the increasing LTC costs and maintain the sustainability of the LTC policies.


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