How America pays for long-term care

By February 23, 2011Uncategorized

We all know that long-term health care is expensive, and that paying for such care often times takes planning.  Virtually everybody who requires such care has to think long and hard about how they can either afford such care personally or find other resources to lighten the burden.  In some instances, this process involves ALTCS planning to eventually qualify for Arizona Medicaid, while in other instances this process involves purchasing long-term health care insurance.  Many people wonder how those in like circumstances go about this, and a recent article on Bnet provided some insightful statistics that may help to answer this question.

One thing that these statistics reveal is that long-term health care insurers are paying increasingly higher claim benefits.  In fact, in the past three years, the leading ten long-term care insurers have seen a 53 percent increase in benefits paid.  Specifically, these insurers paid about $2.6 billion in 2007, which jumped to about $4 billion in 2010.  Now, while we cannot tell from this number whether more policies are being sold or more people with existing policies are accessing their benefits, there is one thing we say with near certainty, which is that this situation will lead to higher premiums on such policies.

Of course, one look at long-term health care policies reveals that expensive premiums is more than just speculation.  In fact, many people find that long-term care insurance is simply unaffordable, and must turn to other options to pay for their long-term health care.  At the present time, there are more than 35 million Americans who are 65 years of age or older, only 8 million of which have long-term care insurance.  This leaves approximately 27 million Americans with no long-term health care coverage.  And with premiums rapidly climbing, where will these Americans turn to when they need assistance paying for their health care?

Of course, while ALTCS is certainly not for everybody, it can provide a safety net for certain Arizonans.  Those who meet specific eligibility requirements may be able to access ALTCS if they need help paying for their long-term health care.  The time to prepare for Medicaid/ALTCS, however, is not when you need health care, but well before.  This way, you can do everything in your power to be eligible for the benefit if you ever require assistance.  To learn more about ALTCS planning, you ought to speak with a qualified Elder Law attorney about Arizona Medicaid.