Why Do Medicare Reductions ($400 Billion) Matter?

Our president wants nursing homes to deliver care much more efficiently and for significantly less over the next ten years.  The proposal indicates that Medicare can save $400 Billion over the next 10 years in reimbursements for nursing home recovery care following a hospital stay.

There are also proposals afoot to raise the minimum wage by nearly a third.  Nursing home care is overwhelmingly bricks and mortar and minimum wage help.  With labor costs going up, more and more utilization as the baby boomers turn 65 at a rate of 10,000 a day, how will Medicare save $400 Billion dollars?

Medicaid already requires impoverishment before it will pay for your Long Term Care.  Perhaps the look-back could be extended to 10 years from the current 5 (that has already been introduced in Congress twice, but died in committee).  Perhaps a new requirement will be to force reverse mortgaging of the family home before Medicaid eligibility is granted.  Many options are on the table, and the result of each idea is less available government money to cover LTC for you and I.

I am fine.  I have my LTC insurance policy.  Do you?  If not, is it because you heard that they are way too expensive? Or have you heard that you must be in perfect health get the coverage?  neither of these excuses are valid – if you plan with someone knowledgeable on how LTC actually works.

Imagine if one of a couple becomes laid up and requires day to day care for bathing, dressing, toileting, etc.  Will that couple still own two cars and a Harley or a pickup truck and camper?  I think not.  Will they go to Branson, MO this year? Probably not.  Will there be a cruise in their future, I doubt that as well.

When one of a couple needs LTC, the “fun” budget shrinks drastically, or disappears entirely.  If a single person requires LTC, they may find themselves “stuck” in the home versus living there, especially if they cannot drive.  In that case, an assisted living facility might be less expensive and provide much more social interaction.  With the household and auto expenses eliminated, and both of those items converted to cash that can earn interest, one might find themselves able to pay the majority of the monthly bill.  It might only require a small addition from a properly sized LTC insurance policy to make up the difference.

That is the benefit of investigating LTC insurance with a specialist who understands the finances of care.  Most people will never require a nursing home, but may be able to use an assisted living facility or stay at home with their family.  Thus, a policy sized for that will handle the great majority of care situations.  Then with health and ages taken into account, the most appropriate company can be priced and voila, reasonable, affordable LTC insurance can save the day.

If, however you wait, wait until your health changes and nobody will insure you, you have waited too long.  You need homeowners insurance before the tornado.  You need auto insurance before the accident.  You need LTC insurance while you are still healthy enough to get it.  When your annual physical comes up and the doctor says “I’m going to write a prescriptions for”…….. you know immediately that you waited too long.  How long will you wait?  Do you feel lucky this year?  Do you?

Please follow and like us: