Long Term Care is one of those topics that no one ever wants to talk about. Unfortunately, when you realize you need long term care is not the time you want to be starting those conversations. This week’s Money in the Media Monday is all about Long Term Care and frankly, what’s wrong with it. The current administration is working to put approximately $400 Billion into increasing elder care benefits, particularly for those who are staying at home. This funding is desperately needed as John Oliver from “Last Week Tonight with John Oliver” explains.
This topic is one that is very close to home for me. My dad received a diagnosis of early onset Alzheimer’s when he was just 49 years old. Having been in the system for so long, I understand the issues in this video very well. As a result, I have created a free ebook called “Elder Care Planning: The Path Forward” to walk you through having essential conversations with your loved ones. In addition to that it gives critical information related to estate planning, including documentations and available federal programs. This will allow you and your loved ones to rest easy knowing that if something happened, what they want is known and documented.
Long Term Care for the Wealthy
One thing that is abundantly clear from the way that the US systems have been set up, is that the wealthy play by different rules. A nursing home can cost $100,000 annually, and it’s usually only the wealthy who can afford that. They can comfortably live in a community that transitions folks from needing little to increasing levels of care. Unfortunately, the large majority of us will not fit that description.
What most folks will have to do if they exceed the short time limits that are part of Medicare, as John Oliver explains, is spend down their assets until they qualify for the Medicaid. The federal limits for Medicaid are embarrassingly low, but some states have higher minimums. If you would like more details, please check out my free ebook on this topic.
My mom had to go through this spend down process in order to qualify for Medicaid benefits for my dad. Unfortunately, he passed away before he could benefit from it. He was left on the waiting list for a couple of Assisted Living Facilities while we were still applying for his benefits, so for the last year and a half of his life, my brother was his primary care giver.
The Current System is Broken
As with most of U.S. the current healthcare system, the set up for long term care is broken. However, overhauling it will take time. Some of your loved ones may not have that kind of time to wait. So, learning how to move through today’s system is also a must for many of us.
With that in mind, you’ll want to download my free ebook and take a look at where to start and what federal programs are currently available. On top of that, you’ll also want to learn your state’s specific benefits, since they may be different. Once you understand what options are available to you and your loved ones, you can make a plan to work within it.
I’m certain that the more you learn, the more you will realize that the current system needs to change. Congress allocating some serious funding, say $400 Billion, toward elder care improvement and regulation is just the start.