It’s no secret that the Baby Boomer generation constitutes a large section of the U.S. population. Those born shortly after the end of World War II and the mid-1960s are considered ‘baby boomers’ and while they have witnessed many changes throughout their lifetime, it’s the one thing that could be coming that causes concern: the cost of long-term care.
Long-term care is a phrase that encapsulates many different options, including home care, nursing homes care, assisted living, and even moving in with family. While a growing majority of Baby Boomers across the country report a strong desire to remain at home, they are still concerned with the rising cost of care.
Medicare will cover some or all of the expenses for nursing home stays for those seniors who qualify, but only for a limited amount of time. That leaves assisted living, paying for a nursing home out of pocket, and home care as the remaining options.
The Houston Chronicle reported in its op-ed piece, Toni King: Baby Boomers face big expense with long-term care, written by Toni King:
“Medicare pays for a maximum of 100 days of skilled nursing care before retirees must absorb the remaining cost themselves, and you are seeing your mother’s nursing home care of $8,500 per month for the last three years with no end in sight.
Because Medicare is controlling health-care costs, most Medicare beneficiaries are receiving $0 co-pays for days 1-20 in a skilled nursing event.
Long-term care or chronic illness conditions can be very costly with the average annual cost ranges from $60,000 to $85,000 per year for a semi-private nursing home stay to $80,000 to $93,000 per year for a private nursing home stay.
However, depending on the level of assistance that you need, there are some inexpensive care options and ways to protect yourself from excessive long-term care costs.”
Home care remains the most affordable option, but as the federal government has significantly cut Medicaid reimbursement rates for home care services and an all-out assault on the industry’s wages and benefits, coupled with increased demand and inflation, even home care costs may be a major concern for this aging population.
There are options for some seniors, but it’s important that the younger Baby Boomers are aware of the true benefits home care offers and that there are some types of insurance (namely long-term care insurance) that may help offset the cost of this and other levels of care in their future.