Getting Older, Going Broke: Who’s Going to Pay for Long-Term Care?
Employer-based health insurance doesn’t cover daily, extended care. Medicare pays for only a short stay in a nursing home or a limited amount of care at home.
Ninety percent of Americans don’t have long-term care insurance — even though half of all people 65 and over will need such care at some point. Without it, seniors can go bankrupt paying for assisted living, nursing home care or home health care.
“This is a slow-moving train wreck,” said Howard Gleckman, senior fellow at the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center at the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan think tank based in Washington, D.C.
“At some point, we will have a catastrophe.”
States are starting to take notice.
Last summer, Washington state created the first public long-term care insurance plan, which will be funded through payroll taxes. California, New York and Pennsylvania are currently building tax based solutions to cover minimal cost of long term care. People with assets and long term care insurance can expect better results than people who will be on public assistance.