One things to keep in mind when you are budgeting for your elder years is the high and ever-rising cost of long-term care. Unfortunately many people don’t give it a lot of thought, and there are a couple of different reasons for this. First, some assume that Medicare will pick up all of their health care expenses once they reach the age of eligibility. The reality is that Medicare does not pay for long-term care.
Another common misconception is that most people are not going to need long-term care, so even though it is expensive it is not something that you have to worry about. The facts tell a different tale. The US Department of Health and Human Services tells us that three out of every four individuals who reach the age of 65 will someday need long-term care.
Many people address long-term care expenses by angling toward Medicaid eligibility. Medicaid will pay for long-term care if you can qualify. In fact, 40% of all long-term care expenses incurred in the United States are paid by Medicaid.
A congressional committee is currently considering options for reducing the federal debt by $1.5 trillion over the next 10 years. To do this they will have to cut spending considerably, and both the president and the House of Representatives suggested cuts to Medicaid earlier this year. Given the fact that seniors and the disabled benefit from two-thirds of all Medicaid spending, cuts to the program will clearly have an effect on our nation’s elders.
If you are making preparations for the latter portion of your life, cuts to Medicaid may be significant to you. If you would like to find out more about the long-term care and Medicaid landscape, arrange for a consultation with an experienced elder law attorney.