As a boomer, you may be a caregiver for your parents or another loved one. Maybe you’re already acquainted with the exorbitant price of care, which continues to escalate. Now is the time to plan for your future, because odds are, you’ll have one.
News from Caregiverlist.com reminds us that benefits from Medicaid differ from state to state but cover very few costs, which range from $5,000 to $12,000 a month. Medicare, which kicks in at age 65, doesn’t cover long-term care after 100 days. Medicaid, for very low-income seniors, does cover these costs but it’s necessary to meet a minimum annual income, which varies from state to state. Some patients “spend down” their bank accounts in order to qualify for Medicaid.
Caregiverlist.com collects information from more than 18,000 long-term care nursing centers as well as in-home senior care options to provide seniors with the cost of every option. The site shares the following costs, which I find frightening. You?
- Nursing home: from $180-$400 a day or $5,400-$12,000 a month
- A private nursing home room: up to $493 a day or $14,790 a month
- Senior home care: $16 – $26 per hour
- 24-hour live-in care: from $150 – $280 per day
- Assisted living: from $2,500-$5,000 a month
- Continuing care retirement community: down payment of $250,000; $4,000 monthly rental fee
I’ve said previously that I found making parental care choices overwhelming at the time that I had to do so. I was ill-prepared in spite of asking, researching, and trying different options—sadly, nothing was a “good option” near the end. Additionally, finding the right caregiver can be a minefield.
I wonder what we baby boomers will do since a national long-term health care insurance program that was part of the Affordable Care Act was abandoned. The Community Living Assistance Services and Support (CLASS) program was voluntary—we would have paid a monthly premium. With millions of us needing this kind of care, “someone” needs to do “something” soon about the cost of long-term care.