Yes, it is legal, despite what an article in the USA Today newspaper stated last week. Long-Term Care (LTC) facilities can and do discriminate on whom they allow in.
The problem is that many people do not plan for LTC costs. The insurance that pays for LTC is not cheap, but is actually quite reasonable compared to what it will pay out for your care when needed. The problem is that many people will put more time and effort into finding a way to get onto Medicaid (welfare) than in finding out how they might be able to pay for their care and have choices.
Medicaid is a fall back for people who run out of money paying for their LTC. Unfortunately, it pays less for your care than a person would pay out of pocket, or with insurance. The facilities can actually lose money on this low reimbursement.
Is it possible to lose money on every customer, and make it up on volume?
Of course not! Nobody, including the government will force facilities to accept a loss on every customer and go out of business. Thus the facilities need to keep a mix of those paying for their care to offset the loss on the Medicaid recipients.
A good friend is currently trying to get her mother into a facility in the Midwest. Most of them are asking about her mother’s finances. If she has enough to pay for a number of years, they will accept her. If soon to be on Medicaid, they will not. Others will accept her only if she signs that when she runs out of money and turns to Medicaid, she must leave. How difficult will it be for her to find a facility to accept her then, when they will be losing money on her from day one? It’s good to be charitable, but if you cannot keep your doors open, you will help nobody.
Bear in mind that with the baby boomers turning 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, the government does not have the funds to handle all the Medicaid LTC either. Medicaid LTC is passing both Social Security AND Medicare as a government expense that is unaffordable.
So, what is the solution to this problem? Have you even investigated LTC insurance for yourself? Why not? Are you hoping that if you don’t talk about it, then perhaps you will never need care? Really? That superstitious?
Most people are surprised to learn that they need less of the insurance than they initially thought. They do not take into account that when one of a couple needs care, there may be no more cruises, trips to Branson, Washington DC, the Florida Keys, etc. No need for 2 (or 3) vehicles if only one can drive, same for the boat, camper, motorcycle. Thus a good portion of spendable income can be redirected towards the cost of care when care is needed.
If you do not want to decimate your life’s savings, you can still use the interest they generate for care, without touching the principal. Then, only the remainder needs to come from LTC insurance.
Many people do not purchase enough insurance to cover a nursing home, since only about 20% of care is done there. If you can afford to cover home care and the wonderful assisted living facilities with a small policy, you have a very good chance of never seeing the inside of a nursing home. Like your homeowners insurance, some of you do not have flood coverage, thinking the risk is too small to insure.
Lastly, the longer you wait to investigate this, the more it will cost. Not just because you get older, but because this insurance has built in inflation to keep up with increasing care costs. Waiting is like saving up to pay cash for your first house. Get it now and inflation will be working for you, causing your policy to automatically get larger every year.
So, wait no more. Give us a call at (920) 884-3030 and schedule a time to do some investigation. You might be pleasantly surprised. The longer you wait, the more likely something will happen, and then you cannot buy it ever again.