You may be thinking that you really don’t care about long-term care costs because you will be on Medicare should you need long-term care. The unfortunate fact is that Medicare does not cover in-home care, assisted living community or nursing home expenses. You’re on your own in that regard — unless you can qualify for Medicaid.
A lot of people aim toward Medicaid eligibility if they can’t afford to pay for long-term care without exhausting all of their resources. Believe it or not, 40% of all long-term care expenses billed in the United States are paid by Medicaid. Two thirds of the Medicaid budget is spent on seniors and disabled people.
At different points during this year the House proposed $800 billion in cuts to Medicaid over the next 10 years, while President Obama called for $100 billion in cuts. Right now we have a congressional super committee convening to devise a plan for trimming the federal debt by $1.5 trillion over the next decade.
So the powers that be have already agreed that Medicaid must be slashed. That means you have to believe the super committee will include Medicaid cuts in its plan. Since so much of the Medicaid budget is spent on seniors, they would surely be affected.
If you are concerned about how you’re going to address long-term care costs in light of possible Medicaid cuts, the wise course of action is to sit down with an experienced elder law attorney to map out a plan for the future that prepares you for any and all eventualities.
Author, President and Founding Attorney
Parman & Easterday