Long-Term Care Story: Mary
Imagine if you didn’t have full life insurance benefits. Being totally at the mercy of good luck. Or bad. This is what happened to a person we will call Mary. She only has basic level provisions at the age of 80 because she did not listen to those advisors around her that told her that MediCal would not cover all her medical and living expenses. Now at the age of which she can no longer work and really should be enjoying her golden years. She’s essentially at a homeless shelter care level because she can only get $35/month income any other sources. If she gets social security or pension income it must go to the state to cover the cost of her care. MediCal pays up to $8K per month for her care. The typical cost for a nursing home is $14K/month for room and board, food, housing, and medical care. So we are talking about a $6K differential.
Here’s the problem for Mary and so many others like her that didn’t plan ahead. Because the nursing homes don’t want a $6K discrepancy between what she receives and what the state provides, none of them want to take her. She has no choice in the matter but to go wherever the state may have a government run nursing facility. If you ever been to the DMV and experienced the horrors of bureaucracy just to renew your license, try to imagine what it is like for Mary who is hard of hearing, has chronic pain and medical issues, and now is at the mercy of hoping and praying there is a decent place to live in her remaining years.
Now imagine how this is affecting her family. Her loved ones are desperate to see her taken care of, but they cannot afford the $14K either and must watch helplessly as she declines.