The latest numbers show why so many people are worried about being able to afford nursing home care: approximately one out of two women and one out of four men will need nursing home care at some point in their later years. Nursing home care is expensive, and Medicare will not cover long-term care costs. Most people end up depleting their life savings within the first twelve months of what ends up being a prolonged stay.
A long-term care insurance plan that was included in the 2010 Affordable Care Act, but it has been abandoned because it was fiscally unworkable. Congress has launched a study commission to try to develop solutions to the overwhelming need for long-term care support. That support is sorely needed: the average cost of a private room in a nursing home here in California is $91,250 per year, and the national rate is $77,745 per year. The Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need some type of long-term care; more than 40 percent will need long-term nursing home care. And few people have prepared for that cost. Life savings are depleted, or the cost is placed on loved ones who must choose between their own financial security and giving their parent the best care possible.
Critical to this area of planning is Medi-Cal. With careful, professional planning, estates can be protected white nursing home residents qualify for Medi-Cal, which can pay all or most of the cost of such care.
Work with the elder law and estate planning attorneys at Gilfix & La Poll to secure your future long-term needs.
Michael Gilfix is an estate planning attorney in Palo Alto California and is one of the pioneers of elder law.