Long-Term Care Plan Options To Protect Connecticut Residents in Old Age
As the number of American senior citizens continues to rise, the need for good-quality, affordable long-term care plan options is greater than ever. For Americans of all ages, it can be difficult to determine the best way to plan for the future and ensure you will be well taken care of in old age. Since navigating through the intricacies of Medicare and Medicaid can be complicated, it is often wise to discuss your options with a skilled elder law attorney.
Establish an Effective Long-Term Care Plan
Rising life expectancies in the United States have led to an increased need for long-term care facilities that can provide care for seniors for many years. Currently, there are approximately 1.8 million people living in nursing homes across the country. The average cost for a nursing home resident is $80,000 annually. Not surprisingly, very few senior citizens are able to afford such care for a lengthy period of time.
Consequently, seniors must turn to other avenues to be able to fund the nursing home care necessary for their daily needs. In many cases, family members end up chipping in, helping financially when they are able. In 2009, nursing home residents and their families paid for 22 percent of the total $178 billion paid to long-term care facilities. While families may be able to help for a short period, though, it is unusual for a family to be able to afford nursing home care for a relative for a number of years.
In some cases, families may attempt to use a home care system, rather than having their loved one move into a nursing home. While this option may be cheaper, the quality of care provided can be lesser, according to a professor at the Institute on Health and Aging at the University of California. Regarding home care, the professor stated, “It needs to be monitored with a lot of oversight.”
Therefore, in order for senior citizens to afford the type of care necessary to keep them safe and healthy, other alternatives must be considered.
Medicare and Medicaid
When considering long-term care needs, many Americans assume their Medicare benefits will cover necessary costs. Americans who are 65 years of age or above are eligible for this federal health insurance program. Medicare benefits are not enough to cover the expenses associated with long-term care, however.
Many Americans then turn to Medicaid to help pay for costly long-term care facilities. In total, around 31.5 percent of Medicaid’s $400 billion budget is spent on long-term care for the disabled and elderly. The eligibility requirements for Medicaid can be difficult to meet. A person seeking to qualify for Medicaid benefits is limited in terms of the number of assets he or she may have.
Clearly, it is imperative for Americans to establish a comprehensive long-term care plan. For both those who are planning well in advance and seniors already in need of long-term care, an experienced health care law attorney can ensure you are financially able to handle any long-term care plan needs that may arise.