Seniors have an overwhelming desire to remain independent, and do not want to become a burden on their family or a ward of the state by entering Medicaid. Unfortunately, the current system to fund long term care (LTC) has evolved into one that encourages seniors to impoverish themselves and move towards Medicaid as quickly as possible. People do not want to go onto Medicaid, yet consumers lack awareness and are unprepared for how they are going to cover the costs of home care, assisted living, skilled nursing care or hospice.
It is a subject typically ignored until a loved one is in immediate need of care. Statistics show that the majority of people do not understand the various forms of long term care, the different means to pay for it, and most do not plan for long term care until they are hit by a health care crisis. Adding to the crisis is the fact that Baby Boomers are now reaching Social Security and Medicare age 65 at a rate of over 10,000 people a day, and 70% of them will need long term care services before they pass away. In fact, over 10 million people require long term care of some form every year. The writing has been on the wall for years. The Baby Boomer crush coupled with the LTC funding crisis is starting to escalate this issue quickly.
The Big Dilemma
The costs of long term care are increasing every year and most families do not understand what they will be confronting when it is their time to start paying for care. Too many people wait until they are in the midst of a crisis situation before they start trying to figure out how the world of long term care works. Long term care is a very expensive proposition and families can go broke trying to provide for a loved one. Seniors and their families are already struggling with the costs of everyday living, if you add the costs of long term care to the picture it is a back breaking scenario for most Americans.
Political leaders want to see people remain private pay as long as possible and delay/avoid Medicaid and are looking for alternatives in the private market to pay for long term care. Across the country everyone understand that it is impossible for Medicare and Medicaid to keep pace with the exponentially growing demand for long term care services. “Private Pay” has become the holy grail of funding long term care, and a powerful combination of industry leadership and political action is opening up access for the consumer to new funding options.
Private Pay Funding Options
We have reached the point that we can no longer ignore the realities of an ever growing population that will require long term care, and the diminishing resources to pay for it. People need to arm themselves with information about their options to fund long term care if they are going to maintain dignity and quality in their lives. Government programs such as Medicare and Medicaid will become more difficult to access and the amount of coverage for long term care will continue to be reduced. Consumers want to be private pay and choose the form and place of care that they want. People want to remain financially independent and in control of their care decisions for as long as possible– sparing their families financial hardships and preserving their own dignity.
About the Author
Chris Orestis, CEO of Life Care Funding, is an 18-year veteran of both the insurance and long-term care industries. A nationally known senior care advocate; he is the author of the Amazon best-seller book “Help on the Way,” a legislative expert, featured speaker, columnist and contributor to a number of insurance and long term care industry publications. A frequent guest about senior issues on national radio programs; he has also been featured in the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, Fox Business News, and PBS.
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