Abstract: This wonderful report from the Alzheimer’s Association sheds light on the disease with facts ranging from the top ten signs to common myths and misconceptions. Among some of the facts, startling financial statistics begin to emerge, revealing Alzheimer’s as the most expensive condition in the United States. The nation spent $214 billion dollars in 2014 on providing care for individuals with the illness. In addition to those costs, individuals suffering from the condition received approximately 17.7 billion hours of care valued at $220 billion dollars. Experts estimate that by 2050 Alzheimer’s related costs will total a jaw-dropping $1.2 trillion dollars. The out-of-pocket costs for families taking care of loved ones with Alzheimer’s is around $36 billion dollars. With the high cost of care and prevalence of the disease it is crucial that everyone has a plan in place for paying for their long-term care while waiting for medicine to develop successful treatments and an eventual cure for the condition.
Abstract: This article details a highly disturbing trend in nursing homes. Recently, nursing homes have begun filing guardianship petitions in order to receive compensation for the outstanding bills of residents. This new tactic allows nursing homes to seize control of an individual’s assets and do with them what they please. The prevalence of this course of action is still being researched, however a recent study from Hunter College reveals that more than 12 percent of 700 guardianship cases in Manhattan were filed by nursing homes. The legislature that allows such petitioning was enacted in 1993 and was meant to serve the purpose of resolving family disputes or cases where embezzlement was suspected, not to intimidate people. Despite the fact that what the nursing homes are doing has been declared as “an abuse of the law” by at least one judge, many elderly people are powerless to fighting back because of the costs associated with taking legal action. With the proper planning in place families can protect themselves from nursing homes attempting to seize guardianship.
Abstract: Genworth Financial, one of the top long-term care insurance providers, recently announced that they’re having extreme difficulty maintaining services.This is primarily a result of policyholders collecting more benefits than originally anticipated and for greater amounts of time at low interest rates. The investment firm Keefe, Bruyette, and Woods places Genworth’s value at negative $750 million with no value placed on new sales. Despite seemingly insurmountable odds, Gensworth CEO, Tom McInerney is still attempting to keep the long-term care products by raising rates on old policies and writing new, more competitive policies.
Abstract: A recent study from the University of Southern California addresses growing concerns surrounding the costs of Alzheimer’s disease. It is estimated that costs of care for individuals will rise from $307 billion annually to $1.5 trillion by 2050. The primary issue is that the prognosis for individuals with Alzheimer’s is bleak. People do not recover, as a result, the disease, especially in late stages, requires advanced 24 hour care that comes at a high price. Currently scientists are working on strategies to discover new and innovative ways to delay the onset of the disease. Of course this would not only improve the quality of life of those suffering from the illness, it would also buy the nation more time to address the concerns by yielding unprecedented savings.
Abstract: Through anecdotal reports, this article explains how the middle-class is the most affected by America’s current long-term care crisis. Many within the middle-class have underestimated how expensive long-term care can be. Overall, they are not impoverished enough to qualify for Medicaid and not wealthy enough to afford long-term care insurance. As a result, 45 million Americans are currently struggling to care for an aging family member.
Abstract: Many retirees are unaware that long-term care costs are currently a greater threat to financial security than health care costs. Interestingly, this article reports on how the insurance industry does not want to sell new long-term care policies because they are not making as much money off of them as originally expected. This is primarily due to the fact that interest rates on the policies are low and policyholders do not drop their policies frequently.
Abstract: Based off of 2013 Risks and Process of Retirement Survey Report by the SOA, this article from MarketWatch counts down the 6 biggest risks to retirement security with topics ranging from scams and fraud to understanding your lifespan.
Abstract: In 29 states (including California), there are currently filial responsibility laws in place that many people are unaware of. According to these laws, adult children are financially responsible for the care of their parents if their parents do not possess the resources to cover costs. As a result, these laws are a direct threat to the finances of many. Recent court cases have demonstrated renewed interests in these laws, despite the fact that they’ve largely gone ignored and have an interesting history that dates all the way back to 16th century English “poor laws.” The primary cause in the emergence of increased interest in enforcing the laws stems quite obviously from the skyrocketing costs of care in recent years. In addition to the financial repercussions, some states even attach the possibility of a jail sentence to violators. No one is exactly sure what kind of impact these laws will have on the future, however it’s a sure thing that if one takes the proper steps those repercussions can be avoided.
Abstract: In this article from The Wall Street Journal, Susan Kaplan, a prominent wealth adviser, discusses the surprising pitfalls of long-term Care insurance coverage. She highlights the steep costs associated with the insurance and suggests instead that those who cannot pay out of pocket for their care utilize an annuity in order to preserve assets and qualify for medicaid.
Abstract: AARP recently predicted yet another potential conflict in the future of long-term care in America. By 2030 there will only be 4 possible caregivers available for every individual 80 years of age or older, compared to 2010 when there were 7 for each elderly individual. As a result there will be lower levels of availability and fewer options when it comes to caregivers. This is partially due to the fact that baby boomers had fewer children than other generations, and therefore won’t have the same possibilities when it comes to familial care. Additionally, baby boomers have been providing most of the long-term care in America. It is estimated that unpaid care from baby boomers to aged populations in 2009 totaled somewhere around $450 billion dollars.
Abstract: This article from CNBC details the projected impact of rising long term care costs on baby boomer populations.
Over the next decade, long-term care will become a more present concern for 76 million baby boomers as they reach retirement age. Many expect to purchase long-term care policies to help with costs. However, in the past three years, three major long-term care policy providers (Metlife, Prudential, and Unum) have all stopped selling policies as a result of low interest rates and the risings costs of care. Despite the many possible solutions, it’s still unclear as to where the funding to care for aging populations will come from.
Abstract: This report from the Congressional Budget Office provides very good statistics and overviews regarding the future of America’s elderly and the cost of care. Elderly populations are currently on the rise. It’s estimated that by 2050, one-fifth of the total us population will be older than 65. It should come as no surprise that the number of individuals living with cognitive and functional limitations will also increase. As a result, we can expect these large populations to need a significant amount of care. Currently more than half the care the aged receive is “donated” as informal care. Informal care commonly comes from friends, family, and spouses. Often the individuals providing the care suffer in terms of lost wages and lost time. The Congressional Budget Office reports that informal care giving in 2011 accounted for approximately $234 billion dollars worth of care from home health aides. Taking these numbers into consideration demonstrates the importance of securing a plan for the future, especially if one doesn’t have a network of close friends and family willing to take indefinite leaves of absence from work in order to provide care.
Abstract: About 7 out of 10 people turning age 65 will need costly long term care services during their lifetimes. On average, these individuals will need the care for at least 3 years. This report from AARP describes different methods for handling the costs of long-term care.
Most people depend on loved ones for care giving. Typically this experience takes an emotional toll on the loved ones. Those who can afford it and qualify tend to rely on costly long-term care insurance policies and savings. Many individuals incorrectly believe that Medicare will cover the costs of their long-term care when Medicare only pays for limited skilled nursing home care after a hospital stay.
Abstract: This article outlines how former president, Bill Clinton thinks of medicaid. For decades Medicaid has been described by politicians and the media as a program reserved for the poor. This kind of rhetoric has turned people off from taking advantage of benefits they are entitled to by causing them to think they cannot qualify for them.
An important step in moving forward and addressing the current healthcare crisis consists of rethinking medicaid as a program that’s beneficial for elderly members of the middle-class.
Abstract: For decades, Medicaid has been described by politicians and the media as a program reserved for the poor. This kind of rhetoric has turned people off from taking advantage of benefits they are entitled to. This article rethinks Medicaid/Medi-Cal as a program that’s beneficial for elderly members of the middle-class by demonstrating how the program can function as a safety net for long-term care needs.
Abstract: Through eye-opening statistics on how Medicaid dollars are spent, this article illustrates how Medicaid is the only safety net for millions of middle-class Americans who need long-term care.
Surprisingly, Medicaid currently spends more than five times as much on each senior in long-term care than each low-income child. Over 31% of Medicaid’s $400 billion dollars (federal and state) goes to the long-term care of the elderly and the disabled. New York state is currently experimenting with managed care (in home, government funded help) in an attempt to offset the rising costs of long-term care by keeping those in need healthier and at home.