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Avoid
Avoid Devastation Of Long-Term Care - Seniors Long Term Care & Nursing Home Issues - SeniorSite.com

Avoid Devastation Of Long-Term Care

The crisis we are facing as America ages is not only health-care costs but long-term care expenses and our dependency upon the federal and state governments to fund this form of care.

It is bankrupting our system and Medicaid can’t continue to underwrite this form of care. There is an alternative: long-term care insurance.

The baby boomer generation lists its two greatest fears as outliving financial resources and becoming dependent upon someone else for care. Nothing is more disturbing than having spent your entire life accumulating assets for retirement and a legacy only to find yourself impoverished. Many seniors mistakenly believe that Medicare will pay for long-term care. In a recent survey, 44 percent expected Medicare to pay for extended long-term care and 37 percent believed it pays for ongoing care in a nursing home.

Yet Medicare only pays for medically necessary care in a skilled nursing facility with maximum coverage of 100 days.

Nearly 70 percent of individuals over 65 will need long-term care at some time. By 2030, thanks to the aging of the baby boomers, seniors will make up 19 percent of the U.S. population, up from 12 percent in 2000. About 70 percent will ultimately need long-term care for chronic medical conditions.

Few people can afford to pay the often astronomical costs of long-term care out of their own pocket for long. Home health-care services for eight hours at $19 an hour provided just three days a week can cost more than $20,000 a year. A single room at an assisted-living facility averages $47,000 annually. If you need skilled care in a nursing home, costs can average about $230 a day or $80,000 a year.

With long-term care insurance, you have options on the care you receive, and you can protect your assets from “spend-down” and possibly from state estate recovery procedures. This insurance can pay for a wide variety of home, community-based and facility care services and can offer you care options that may not be covered through government programs. Best of all, you stay in control of your care choices and may be able stay out of the nursing home.

Ohio participates in the Partnership for Long-Term Care Insurance. The partnership is designed to encourage individuals to plan for long-term care by allowing them to retain more assets than would otherwise be allowed. As a result, policyholders can retain assets they would otherwise have to spend down to qualify for Medicaid. For example, if you have a policy that has paid $100,000 for your long-term care needs, you could qualify for Medicaid coverage and still keep up to $101,500 of your assets.

In summary, long-term care is very likely to happen, long-term care is expensive and long-term care is not covered by the government unless you are poor. While the challenges of an aging population are real, along with the potential financial devastation, long-term care can be managed.

Consult with a licensed long-term care insurance specialist who can counsel you on all of your options and alternatives so that you can stay in charge of your care choices.



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