Coming Political Changes Affecting Long Term Care

Coming Political Changes Affecting Long Term Care

Coming Political Changes Affecting Long Term Care

Yes changes are coming.  The federal government is very interested in moving programs back to states to handle and Medicaid is one of those.

The way this most likely would happen is to “block grant” Medicaid to the states.  Give each state a fixed sum of money each year for Medicaid and let each state set their plans and rules themselves.

Will this mean less federal dollars for each state?  Yes

Will this mean less money for the people who need and rely on Medicaid? No

If states are freed to set rules that make sense, they will do so and direct Medicaid to those whom it was meant for in the first place.  Let me explain.  Currently, in Wisconsin, a married spouse of a Medicaid recipient for Long Term Care can keep a house worth up to $828,000.  Medicaid will attempt to “recover” from this house after the last death.

Wisconsin does not have a large number of houses or homes of this value.  Often Medicaid is not successful in recovering the money they spent on care after the last death.  Since reverse mortgages allow the at-home spouse to live in the house, why not require that money used first, before taxpayer dollars?

Secondly, the at-home spouse can keep between $50,000 and $119,220 of savings in their name for future needs.  However, the at-home spouse’s IRA is not counted as an asset.  This means that the at-home spouse could have a million dollars or more in an IRA while the taxpayers pay the bills for the institutionalized spouse in a nursing home.

How do you feel, as a taxpayer, to be financing the Long Term Care costs of people with millions in assets between expensive homes and IRA accounts?  If those who can pay for their own Long Term Care must do so, there will be a lot of money available for those who truly need Long Term Care and cannot pay for it.  Unfortunately, Medicaid has become a free money feeding trough for those who know how to access and not spend their own money.

These changes may happen quickly.  If you have been planning to have your Long Term Care paid for by Medicaid, and suddenly that rug is pulled out from under you, will you be too old, too unhealthy to purchase Long Term Care insurance?

There will be wailing and gnashing of teeth for those who did not feel they needed to plan for something like this which Health and Human Services (HHS) says that 70% of us who have reached age 65 will need in our lifetimes.

Once you have a bone density problem on record, or have had a stroke, or have diabetes, or a diagnosis of a hundred different health concerns that might lead to needing care – it will be too late to get such insurance coverage.

Don’t be among the wailers and gnashers later.  Investigate Long Term Care insurance while you can still get it.  30% of 60 year olds can no longer buy Long Term Care insurance.  Investigate this with experts.  Call while you still have time, and let us guide through investigating your options.  Call (920) 884-3030

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