Over 550 nursing homes in the United States have closed in the past 4 years. Almost 60% of them—328—closed in just the past 20 months. Wisconsin was one of 9 states that accounted for more than half of the closures. Brown County, WI, where Green Bay is located, has lost 4 in the past 4 years. The latest is one located at the corner of Webster Avenue and Mason Street, closing in March. While these closures have an impact on the residents and the community at large, they can hit rural areas even harder, as rural areas have few (if any) alternatives.
Nursing homes make their money two primary ways. The first source is Medicare. Most call themselves rehabilitation centers and provide short term recovery care following a hospital stay. This is paid for by Medicare, as long as patients are making progress in recovering. The second source of revenue is from people who live there who and are not progressing toward recovering and returning home. At a typical cost of $11,000 a month or more, most residents in this group run out of money to pay for their care themselves and end up on a welfare program called Medicaid.
The duration of rehabilitation care allowed under Medicare is getting shorter and shorter. Medicaid pays nursing homes much less than the cost to keep a resident, causing homes to go broke and close.
Most long-term care (LTC) is provided at home or in assisted living facilities – but each year fewer and fewer assisted living facilities accept Medicaid. If you need care and can’t afford home or assisted living facility care, it’s the welfare-supported nursing home for you. And now there are fewer and fewer. Do you see the problem? Where do you go when you cannot afford LTC? When there is “no room at the inn”, you have to resort to other less appropriate alternatives–perhaps your children have a spare bedroom, a hospital bed in the living room, or one of them retires early (even if they can’t afford to do that) and care for you.
What does this mean to people who are planning on Medicaid paying for their LTC? They are likely to see the proverbial “NO VACANCY” sign on at the few nursing homes that remain open. If they cannot pay for the care they need when their health changes, they will be in despair and at a loss for options.
Have you addressed this need that many of you will face? Will you be prepared? Do you know how to choose LTC insurance products that are appropriate for your situation? Most people need far less insurance than they might imagine. If this is not something you are familiar with, why not consult an expert with over 26 years of LTC planning experience?
Consider using www.TheLongTermCareGuy.com to help investigate this. Even the wealthy buy LTC insurance so they can leave their wealth to whom they wish and their children do not have decide what to liquidate first. People with little nest egg need advice too. A client at age 50, in poor health, with little money, can buy a 1-year policy for LTC of $9000 a month for $214 annually – that is $17.83 a month. Most anyone can afford that. I have solutions for nearly every health or financial situation. Let me help you investigate this.