According to the National Advisory Center for Long Term Care Information, 70 percent of Americans will need long-term care after age 65. However, it was revealed that only 11 percent of Americans are prepared to pay for such care. By 2050, 27 million Americans are thought to need long-term care, which is more than double the current number of 12 million.
Medicare does cover some of the cost of long-term care, but there are costs that it won’t cover or won’t cover in full. For instance, if an individual is transferred to a skilled care facility, Medicare will cover 100 percent of the costs for the first 20 days. It will then cover a portion of the cost through day 100 before the patient is responsible for 100 percent of future costs.
A long-term care insurance policy may make cover some of the long-term care costs older Americans may face. Those in the insurance industry recommend buying a policy as early as possible as it may be easier to get a better rate at a younger age. Aside from insurance, it may be possible to start saving as early as possible to cover long-term care costs later in life. It may also be possible to rely on family members to provide care at no cost.
It is never too early to start thinking about long-term care planning. Those who are wondering how to take care of those costs may wish to speak to an elder law attorney who may be able to share information about government programs or insurance policies that can help cover some or all care costs. It may also be possible to learn about the best care facilities to avoid possible elder abuse issues if it becomes necessary to put a loved one in a nursing home.
Source: NerdWallet, “How Will You Pay for Long-Term Care? Most Americans Don’t Know“, Elizabeth Renter , November 21, 2014