What Are The Chances You Will End Up In A Nursing Home?

English: Southern House Now a long-term care h...
English: Southern House Now a long-term care home, but previously a doctor’s residence with surgery. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Earlier this week I was asked how Obamacare will affect nursing homes.  The answer is fairly simple, although people on the far right do not want to admit it.

The Patients Protection and Affordable Care Act over hauled Major Medical insurance in America.  It made some adjustments to the Medicare system but the section of the PPACA that dealt with Long Term Care, Title VIII, was declared unfeasible in November of 2011.

In December of 2011, Mr. Obama suspended all work on C.L.A.S.S.  Hidden in the American Taxpayer’s Relief Act of 2012 everything that was in the PPACA regarding regarding a way for the federal government to help with Long Term Care expenses was repealed.

C.L.A.S.S. was replaced by a congressional committee to study costs for Long Term Care and what, if anything, the government can do to help.

Currently, there is no federal program to help with the costs of nursing homes.  If you want governmental help, you will need to qualify for Medicaid in your state.

In this post I want to share some important numbers that, I hope, will calm any fears you have about nursing homes.

  • You and your wife have a 70% chance that one of you will need Long Term Care after you reach age 65.
  • Of those that do need Long Term Care, only 15% require institutionalization.
  • Approximately 85% of people who need Long Term Care are able to keep their independence if they only have help either at home or in an assisted living facility.
  • Only 7% of Americans own true Long Term Care insurance.
  • The majority of nursing home claims are for complications of Alzheimer’s disease.
  • The average stay in a nursing home is less than 2.5 years.
  • The majority of Long Term Care insurance claims where the insured is able to stay at home are for people who are recuperating from cancer treatment.

What that tells me is that although there is a huge probability that either I or my wife will need help in the future, the chance of either of us being so bad off that we have to be put in a nursing home is small.

Long Term Care insurance policies first became available in the 1980s.  By the time it was invented, it was too late for my family when dad had to go into the nursing home for his Huntington’s disease.

Since them medicine has made gigantic strides.  Doctors are able to better treat diseases today.  In fact, many of the ailments that were major reasons for concern when I was a kid are treated routinely by doctors today.

While medicine was improving, the insurance industry has been working to solve the fiscal problems that come with Long Term Care.

Unfortunately, while doctors and insurance companies were looking for solutions, politicians loudly debate and point fingers.  It is almost as if the politicians are more concerned about who to blame than solving problems.

True Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI). Is not the only way that you can protect yourself from the high cost of Long Term Care.  The insurance industry has developed Critical Illness plans, LTC riders for annuities and full Long Term Care riders that attach to some Life insurance plans.

You do not have to spend-down your life’s savings to qualify for Medicaid if you do not want to.  There are options available.

The key is to do something while you are healthy.  If you wait until you start having the limitations of age, you will probably not be able to qualify for insurance.  Your only option would be to spend your savings until you are able to qualify for Medicaid in your state.