Pebble Beach, CA Who Will Resolve The Long Term Care (LTC) Insurance Crisis? View From A Private Duty Caregiverby Richard Kuehn on 09/28/12
I've written repeatedly on my blog about the benefits of getting long term care insurance (LTC), the only type of policy which pays for the services provided by Family inHome Caregiving. Medicare doesn't cover any private duty caregiving services, and few people can afford the cost of 24-hour care to remain in their own home, which is often required when you get into your 80's and 90's. A whopping 70% of those over 65 will require some type of prolonged care at some point during their life, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The question is, who is going to pay for this? The average cost of being in a nursing home is $80,000 per year across the whole country. And anyone living in Monterey knows the costs here are higher. Typically you will be quoted a lower cost but will find a number of additional costs added to the bill make the costs quickly unaffordable, and that's being in a home where most seniors do not want to be. They want to remain in their own home, but with some help. The government has tried to step in and solve this problem, but money is tight and no federal benefit program has been enacted into law and I wouldn't expect it to happen any time soon given the current state of the economy. Unfortunately, prices continue to soar for policy holders which are lucky enough to have LTC insurance. According to the Association for Long Term Care Insurance, prices are going up 17% per year. This is due in part to people living longer than actuaries had projected when the policies were written. Not helping is the fact that interest rates are at historic lows. Insurance companies take premiums and invest them, so the money that you pay into a policy is supposed to grow dramatically by the time you start filing claims. But with safe investments paying almost nothing, insurance companies are facing shortfalls on their investment strategies, another factor causing rates to go up. It seems that at some point the government will have to step in and add some LTC benefits to Medicare policies. Hopefully, this will happen during my lifetime, but no one knows for sure.