More Bad News in Long-Term Care

The numbers of seniors who need personal care help is increasing, says the CDC.  The data released last Tuesday by the CDC’s National Center For Health Statistics shows that 7.2% of seniors require help with activities of daily living in 2015, compared to 6.6% in 1997.  This includes eating, bathing, dressing and getting around as personal care needs.

Seniors over age 85 were twice as likely as adults between 75 and 84 to require personal care help, and were 5 times a s likely as adults age 65 to 74.  The report also found 6.4% of white seniors required personal care help, compared to 9.6% of black and 11.3% of Hispanic seniors.

Not only do we have more seniors, especially those over the critical age of 85, but their rate of needing care is increasing as well.  A dangerous combination!

“Nursing Home Evictions Strand The Disabled In Costly Hospitals” was a recent article by Ina Jaffe of National Public Radio.

Quote:  “What if you had to go to the hospital, and when it came time to return home, your landlord said you couldn’t move back in? Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents face that situation every year. In most cases, it’s a violation of federal regulations. But those rules are rarely enforced by the states. So, in California, some nursing home residents are suing the state, hoping to force it to take action.  …  Chicotel [a staff attorney with California Advocates for Nursing Home Reform] says the residents most likely to be refused readmission fit a particular type. First, they’re all on Medicaid, which pays nursing homes less than they get from Medicare or private insurance. Second, he says, these are patients who are behaviorally difficult to manage – for example, ‘residents with mental health issues or significantly advanced dementia, or maybe traumatic brain injury.’ They’re undesirable, says Chicotel, ‘because they might take a disproportionate amount of labor time.’”

State budgets are getting stretched thinner and thinner as seniors continue to accelerate passing through age 65.  Most of the newly 65 year olds do not need any Long-Term Care services, but as they continue to age, as you can see from the article above, the incidence of care needs is increasing.

Medicaid picks up much of the cost of Long-Term Care for those who have run through all of their savings, homes, and other assets.  Medicaid is half federal money and half state money, so everyone is sharing the pain equally.  We are now faced with only 3 workers for every retired person and the ratio continues to get worse.  Where will the money come from when you need care?

Just like responsibly planning for the time an automobile accident occurs, I have insurance for Long-Term Care as well as my auto insurance.  When I need care someday, I will simply notify my Long-Term Care insurance company.  As they receive copies of the bills for my care on a monthly basis they will send me a check each month to reimburse that cost.

I don’t have to worry if the Medicaid reimbursement rate is so low that the facility will be trying to get rid of me.  My money will come in each month, in addition to my Social Security check.  If I do not like the care I am receiving, I will find a better facility or home care agency and make changes.  When you pay for the care you want, you get the care you want.

How will you pay for your care when your health changes?  If you want to explore options, contact The Long Term Care Guy at (920) 884-3030 or (800) 219-9203.

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