Approximately ¾ of all Americans, at some time in their life, will need some form of long term care. This is pursuant to a study of the US Department of Health and Human Services. Seniors over 65 have approximately a 1 in 3 chance of at some point in time finding themselves in a nursing home. Approximately 20% of these seniors will spend up to 5 years in a nursing home.
Long Term Care Insurance
Medicare is not designed to cover long term care in a nursing home or a rehabilitation facility. Medicare provides up to 100 days of coverage in an institution solely for rehabilitation purposes. So, should you purchase long term care insurance? The answer to this question is yes! However long term care insurance should be purchased when you are in your 50’s. If you want to purchase long term care insurance when you are in your 60’s or 70’s you may find it is much too expensive. It also should be pointed out insurance companies underwrite long term care insurance policies. Should they find you have a medical condition or illness which makes you a more likely candidate to end up in a nursing home, they will not sell you a long term care insurance policy or they will charge you a higher premium for the policy.
Medicare And Medicaid
As indicated earlier in this article, Medicare is not designed to cover long term care in a nursing home. It may help cover rehabilitation in the short run but it is not designed for long term care. Medicaid is a program for poor people. There are very strict requirements to be eligible for Medicaid. There is also a five year look back with regard to the transfer or moving of assets that is investigated prior to obtaining eligibility to participate in Medicaid.
Veterans may have an opportunity to obtain benefits from Veterans Administration for long term care. Long term care is expensive. The average nursing home in the metropolitan New York area charges between $10,000 and $12,000 per month for private pay patients. If you do not have long term care insurance, other avenues you may need to investigate to pay for long term care involve reverse mortgages, pension loans and the liquidating of your personal assets.
Growing Old in America
Today, Americans are living longer and longer. As Americans age, their mobility can sometimes be more difficult. Senior citizens living alone sometimes have difficulty in maintaining their daily routines. Even if you have devoted loving family members, they may not be able to help you on a daily basis should you have need for a care giver. Your current home or apartment may also not be practical for you should you become sick, infirm, wheelchair bound or have failing eyesight. I wish we could all be forever young. However, growing old is part of life!
About The Author
Elliot S. Schlissel, Esq. is an Elder Care attorney.