“The Ruinous Cost of Elder Care in America”
This past weekend, The New York Times had a front-page story highlighting the disastrous long-term care situation in the United States. The article noted that “federal long-term care for older people has not fundamentally changed since Medicare and Medicaid were signed into law in 1965,” yet costs have skyrocketed in that time. Here are some highlights (or perhaps a better word is ‘lowlights’) from the article:
- About 8 million Americans 65 and over reported having dementia or difficulty with basic daily tasks such as feeding or bathing.
- Nearly 3 million of these people have no assistance at all. Most rely on family members for aid.
- The US devotes a smaller share of its gross domestic product to long-term care than other wealthy countries.
- From 1960-2021 the number of Americans aged 65 and over increased by more than six times the rate of the general population.
- Advances in medicine have allowed those with cancer, heart disease and stroke to live longer but federal long-term care assistance has not fundamentally changed in decades, meaning people are living longer without the resources to do so.
- The situation is particularly bad for the middle class. Medicaid covers long-term care for the poor, but it does not provide services for middle-class people with assets.
What can you do to protect yourself and your hard-earned nest egg? In New York State, not only can a plan be devised to make an individual eligible for Medicaid benefits in the future, but there is also the ability to embark in Medicaid crisis planning when a person needs immediate services. In each instance, depending upon the circumstances, it might be possible to achieve eligibility without spending down a lifetime of savings. To do this, it is essential to consult with an experienced Elder Law attorney to determine what the right personalized plan is for you. Every person’s situation is different. We can help devise a plan to protect your assets and ensure your care. At Makofsky Valente Law Group, P.C. we are here to help with all of your estate and disability planning and future needs. We are only an email or phone call away!