Last week we wrote about the termination of the CLASS bill from the Obama administrations health bill. There was little doubt from most analysts that the financial aspects of the bill were unsustainable but it still left us with the question, how do we fix our enormous need for long term care in this country? Whether you believe the private market can take care of this issue or the government should step in and develop subsidized options, you should certainly know the important facts of how gigantic and alarming this issue is for the health and quality of life in this country.
The New York Times published an additional article on the subject this Monday, October 24th. While it discusses many of the political sides to the program it clearly spells out many of the alarming statistics when it comes to our lack of understanding the need for long term care. A couple highlights:
- More than 10 million people in the United States already have long-term care needs, and two-thirds of the costs are paid for by government programs, mostly Medicaid. Studies estimate that unpaid family members deliver an even larger share of the care, and the cost of nursing home care averages $72,000 a year.1
- Polls show that many people believe that Medicare, the federal health program for those 65 and older, pays for such care. Actually, Medicare stops paying nursing home bills after 100 days.1
- Ms. Briolat’s mother, burdened by her husband’s growing needs, soon went into decline as well. By then, five months of nursing home care had already cost the family $60,000. Ms. Briolat moved them both into her home. She pays a home health aide while she and her husband work.1
At the end of the article the author describes an all too familiar situation for many families. Raymond Eriksen had moved his in-laws into an assisted living facility. They both had long-term care insurance and money from selling his in-laws house. Mr. Eriksen’s wife then began to experiencing early-stage Alzheimer’s. Eventually she was to be put in a facility at the cost of $7,000 per month. Mr. Eriksen, at the age of 61 could only say, “I was middle class, but I’ll be impoverished eventually”.
What is your plan? Sevens Home Care provides options to keep loved ones at home. Most individual’s daily needs are small enough that just a few hours a day can help avoid the hefty $7,000 nursing home bills. Long Term Care insurance covers all of our services. Also, if you are faced with a situation like Mr. Eriksen, maybe you should be thinking long term care insurance for you and your spouse. We partner with many LTC providers to give you options.
1Harris, Gardiner & Pear, Robert (2011, October 24). Still No Relief in Sight for Long-Term Needs. The New York Times Online Edition. Retrieved October 25, 2011, from http://nyti.ms/sbLaMJ.