The cost of long-term care

SPRINGFIELD, Mass. (WWLP) –    It’s a reality all baby-boomers must face. The rising cost of long-term care for the elderly and federally funded Medicare only covers part of those expenses.

Physicians admit long-term care insurance is expensive, but without any coverage, you’re looking at on average, $357 a night for one room at a private nursing home here in western Massachusetts.

It’s a scary reality, especially for the aging baby boomers.

Physician Dr. Robert Mausel told 22News, “If you unfortunately have to go to a long-term care facility, and you end up there as a resident, it’s going to cost you over $100,000 a year. They are going to inundate the system, and my prediction is there will not be enough long-term care beds.”

Medicare covers your cost for up to 100 days. If you need nursing care or other assistance for an extended period of time, the cost of long-term care often comes out of your pocket.

Long-term care insurance can help pay for the care you need at home. The type of care it covers includes skilled care by nurses and help with daily activities, such as getting dressed and eating. It could also cover the cost of assisted living facilities and hospice care.

Experts recommend you start considering long-term care insurance in your 40′s or early 50′s. How much you will pay for the policy can vary from $1,500 to $5,000 per year.

It all depends on your age when you buy the policy, how much the policy pays for each service and how many days or years of care you want covered.

State Medicaid does cover long-term care, but you have to meet strict income eligibility requirements.

According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, Medicare will pay for some of your long-term care costs if you meet these requirements:

  • You have had a recent prior hospital stay of at least three days
  • You’re admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing facility within 30 days of your prior hospital stay
  • You need skilled care

If you meet all those conditions, Medicare will pay for some of your costs for up to 100 days.

For the first 20 days, 100% covered by Medicare. Days 21-100, you pay your own expenses up to $140.00 per day and Medicare pays any balance.

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