Paying for long term care should be a very real and legitimate concern. According to the Department of Health and Human Services, 70 percent of adults age 65 and older will eventually have some long term care needs and nursing home costs can be significant. In Omaha, Nebraska, costs are around $72,000 per year for a private room and $64,000 for a semi-private room.
To pay for long-term care you basically have 3 options. First, you can pay for care from your own wealth. Second, if you are healthy enough to qualify and can afford the premium; you can purchase long term care insurance. The third option, if you qualify, you can receive assistance from Medicaid. Many people think of Medicaid as the health insurance program for the poor, which it is; but Medicaid also has a separate function and that is to provide medical assistance for long-term care.
Now please know that I am a big fan of long term care insurance if that is an option for you. But if its not, you need to understand the Medicaid option. As a starting point, you may want to check out the link titled “Will I qualify for Medicaid Long Term Care” and other long term care topics located on the right side of the screen
My hope is that you walk away from this overview with a new appreciation for how important this topic is for your family. For decades now the marketing messages have conditioned us to plan for the retirement we are told we deserve or should have. But very few people give any thought to how they are going to handle the final segment of their life, until reality hits them right between the eyes. Unfortunately, if you wait until you or a family member needs long-term care, you have greatly reduced your available options. No different than waiting until age 65 to figure out how you are going to pay for your retirement years.
Too many people work and skimp and save their entire life to get ready to retire only to end up burning through everything they have to pay for long term care. Virtually every family no matter how little or how much they have accumulated, should sit down and discuss the possible long-term care scenarios and how they want to handle them.
Many times families wait until the need for long term care is immediate and they are left to make decisions about what’s in Mom or Dad’s best interest without any input from Mom and Dad. This always has the potential to create disagreements and hard feelings among family members. Many times the burden of making decisions and taking care of a parent will not fall evenly among family members which just creates more hard feelings.
Its not about saving money to give to the kids someday, its about making sure an individual can maximize and preserve the resources they have to provide the care necessary to help them live and age with dignity. Because once you are out of money you are out of options.
So, whether you are early in the planning process or find yourself in crisis mode, give my office a call today to set up a convenient time to meet and discuss your potential long term care situation or complete the contact us form at the right of the screen if you have a quick question you want to ask me.
Finally, if you would like to get a better idea of what you can expect on your initial consultation, check out the video on the right side of the screen titled “Long Term Care: The Initial Consultation” or if you would like to gather more information, check out the other long-term care topics.