While half of them will need it at some point in their lifetime, when it comes to long-term care, most Americans get a failing grade, according to a survey conducted by MetLife.

The MetLife survey of 1,488 Americans between 40 and 70 years old found that most lack a basic understanding of long-term care. According to MetLife, the cost of LTC services is one of the areas where Americans have the greatest gaps in their knowledge.

Forty-one percent of those who took MetLife's Long Term Care Insurance IQ Test incorrectly believe that they are entitled to basic coverage for long-term care from the government at retirement, and the same proportion cite Medicare, Medicare Supplement (Medigap) or disability insurance as forms of insurance that pay for this care.

Nearly two-thirds incorrectly estimated the cost of waiting to buy LTC insurance at an older age, according to the results. In addition, less than 40 percent of respondents recognized that a 65-year-old has a 50 percent likelihood of living another 18 years, and 72 percent didn't know how likely it is that an 85-year-old will need help with his or her daily living activities.

More than half (55 percent) of those polled incorrectly think that people are most likely to receive long-term care in nursing homes, while only 18 percent respondents correctly identified their home as the most likely place where long-term care services would be provided, according to MetLife, which cited research that showed that more than half of long-term care recipients live in their own home.

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