Posted by: Pierson W. Backes | Posted on: April 15th, 2014 | 0 Comments
On September 20, 2013 the federal Commission on Long-Tem Care issued a “Call to Action” in its report to Congress. Noting that over 12 million Americans currently rely on some form of Long Term Services and Supports (which it abbreviates to LTSS), it projects that this number will more than double to 27 million by the year 2050, as the “baby boom” ages. http://www.ltccommission.senate.gov/Commission%20on%20Long-Term%20Care-%20Final%20Report%209-26-13.pdf
The so-called “sandwich generation” of workers with aging parents (and in many caeses, also children they are supporting wholly or in part) are caught in the middle. Most families need to combine family caregiving with other programs while addressing the fact that eventually, assisted living or nursing home care may be necessary.
Although many long term care facilities do have Medicaid patients, there are often a limited number of beds resulting in waiting periods. Others will accept clients that they know will become Medicaid patients, provided that an initial period is paid out-of-pocket (referred to as “key money.”)
Medicare will pay for various home care services for a limited period of time, but a doctor must certify them as “medically necessary” every 60 days. A helpful handbook about Medicare coverage is available from the Department of Health and Human Services. http://www.medicare.gov/publications/pubs/pdf/10050.pdf
Elder and disability planning includes – but is certainly not limited to – helping families understand what would be involved for a family member to qualify for Medicaid or other available programs. Some families may have certain types of assets that can be transferred or put into a properly drafted trust without a penalty (although Medicaid may have a lien against the beneficiary’s estate). Social Security and long-term care insurance are also potentially important and the process for each is more difficult than one might expect. We will make note of some of the many sub-topics in this blog.