Many Americans don’t consider the cost of future long-term care. Those that do, often grossly underestimate the actual costs. Long-term care consists mainly of custodial care or assistance with daily activities such as eating, bathing, dressing, walking, and using the restroom and management of medications. According to the Ohio Department of Aging, the average monthly cost of nursing home care is $6,327, which totals $75,924 per year. According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, 70% of people who reach the age of 65 will need some form of long-term care. Now do I have your attention?
When it comes to Medicare, there is often confusion. You need to know that Medicare coverage is quite limited regarding long-term care. Medicare is a federal health insurance program for people aged 65 or older and for younger people with disabilities. It helps pay for doctors, short hospital stays and prescriptions. If you require long-term care in a skilled nursing facility, Medicare will pay for up to 100 days but only after a three-night hospital stay. For the first 20 days, Medicare will cover the entire cost of care. Days 21-100, are a different story. The recipient must pay a co-payment per day for a portion of the expense. The overwhelming majority of Medicare-financed stays in nursing homes are much shorter than 100 days. The average number of days Medicare pays for nursing home skilled care is under 20. If you need care over the 100-day maximum, you will be responsible for the entire cost.
If you’re making a decision about long-term care, you must understand the limitations of Medicare. Being proactive and planning for long-term care ahead of time can mitigate costs of the care. Instead, you can preserve your hard-earned assets from being exposed to pay for the care. More importantly, you will ensure that you will get the type of care that you want and need. If the cost long-term care is a concern for you or a loved one, call an attorney at AlerStallings today to discuss proactive planning.