With continued cutbacks expected in Medicare in the years ahead, the future for many is uncertain.  The oldest of the baby boomer generation are approaching retirement while struggling with work, health issues, and caring for an aging parent.  Studies show baby boomers are the largest group of caregivers.  As the boomer generation is already learning, long term care for an aging family member can be a heavy burden to bear both emotionally and financially.  While dealing with this, many start wondering how their own needs will affect their families once they can no longer care for themselves.


Long term care includes medical and non-medical care to people who have a chronic illness or disability. Long-term care helps meet health or personal needs. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom.  It can be provided at home, in the community, in assisted living or in nursing homes.


Generally, Medicare doesn’t pay for long-term care unless it’s for a medically necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care. However, you must meet certain conditions for Medicare to pay for these types of care. Most long-term care is to assist people with support services such as activities of daily living like dressing, bathing, and using the bathroom which is not covered by Medicare as it is considered custodial care and not medically necessary. 


This year, about nine million men and women over the age of 65 will need long-term care. By 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care. Most will be cared for at home; family and friends are the sole caregivers for 70 percent of the elderly.  A study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that people who reach age 65 will likely have a 40 percent chance of entering a nursing home. About 10 percent of the people who enter a nursing home will stay there five years or more.  Today, the national average cost of one year of nursing home care exceeds $75,000.  Long term care costs are expected to triple in the next 20 years.


Achieving financial security and independence can be done with sound financial planning.  It’s important to take into account how the future need for long term care can impact your assets, quality of life, and your family’s well-being.  Having a plan in place for when the time comes will make the transition easier for everyone involved.


That’s why it is important to think ahead about how you will fund the care you get.  Your care requirements may exceed your personal savings and become a financial burden.  Long term care insurance can help cover those costs while allowing more freedom of choices for you and your family regarding your care.  It would allow you to stay living in your home while helping cover costs for the amount of care you need. 


The federal government is promoting long term care policies with 100% tax deductibility as a way for the federal government to offset continued Medicare cutbacks.  Contact an agent today to discuss cost and coverage options of a long term care policy and provide you and your family with the comfort of having a plan in place.