Today, about one-half of seniors can expect to need a stay in a long-term care facility. That proportion is expected to increase to as much as three-quarters as today’s adults become tomorrow’s seniors.
In the United States, there are three main ways that people pay for long-term care: 1) coverage through a long-term care insurance policy or the Medicare rehabilitative stay benefit; 2) out of pocket; or 3) Medicaid. Long-term care insurance can be worthwhile to investigate and extremely valuable if needed, but fewer companies are selling conventional long-term care insurance and those that do require higher and higher premiums. The Medicare rehabilitative stay benefit lasts for no more than 100 days at a time (under normal circumstances – COVID-19 has triggered some extensions). The out-of-pocket cost for long-term care in a facility can run as high as $9,000.00 or more each month.
Given these circumstances, it is not surprising that Medicaid accounts for about one-third of all long-term care facility payments nationally. This is a critical benefit for individuals and families and facilitates care that Hoosiers need each and every day. Medicaid is a federal program administered by the states, so a Hoosier applicant is subject to Federal law and regulation, State law and administrative code, and the Family and Social Services Administration Medicaid manual which frequently changes. The Medicaid application process can be fact-sensitive, complex and subject to strict document requirements and deadlines. Consulting with a knowledgeable elder law attorney is of paramount importance.