My prior blog describes two recently published studies, commissioned from the Center for Long-Term Care Reform. For those of us who study long-term care financing, the studies are quite frightening. They quantify how economically vulnerable states are for long-term care (LTC) expenses. The studies were for GA and VA, and a forthcoming study will examine NJ. More information on these studies may be found at the Center for Long-Term Care Reform.
An op-ed piece for the Columbia County News-Times, by Steve Moses, president of the Center for Long-Term Care Reform, was published on December 11, 2013. In his piece, Steve describes how easy it is for a citizen with business savvy and means to get the government, through Medicaid, to pay for their long-term care. Even though publicly funded long-term care is of inferior quality, it is “free”, or rather, it is free only at the expense of taxpayers, while the citizen often preserves much of their wealth though clever legal strategies.
The fact that it is fairly easy to get the government to pay for long-term care anesthetizes the public and prevents it from responsibly planning for long-term care in advance, with long-term care insurance (LTCi). But the gimmicks for free LTC will certainly backfire as more states confront the dilemma of greater demand for Medicaid funds than they can possibly meet, and when the seniors who manage to get into Medicaid nursing homes become aware of the miserable environment in which they will spend the rest of their lives. In stark contrast, someone who needs LTC and owns LTCi will have many more options and access higher caliber care. Studies show LTCi owners also access care sooner, and with less panic and emergency than Medicaid (Welfare) recipients.
Here’s a link to the study done for Georgia: www.georgiapolicy.org/ftp_files/IndexofLong-TermCareVulnerability.pdf.