Most Americans believe that there is a need to plan for long term care. However, very few people actually follow through with long term health care planning. There are many misconceptions about how long term health care is paid for by a lot of Americans, including many in Massachusetts.
At this point, very few Americans are able to fund long term care on their own. Long term care insurance is available, but can be costly. There is talk of providing people who purchase this insurance some sort of tax credit to offset at least some of the cost. Still others believe that there needs to be some sort of mixture of both public and private money.
The program could be similar to the “Medigap” insurance that acts somewhat as a supplemental insurance to Medicare. This private insurance could cover the things that Medicare does not. However, this still requires people to purchase the insurance in anticipation of possibly not needing it for several years.
The good news is that, as the average age in the country increases, the need for long term health care planning is gaining in popularity. An increased need for long term care may result from the fact that smaller families (since birth rates have dropped over the years) means fewer relatives available that can help provide care. This makes planning ahead more important for the entire family. As Massachusetts families can surmise, budgeting will be a significant factor in any planning how that will be accomplished. Taking the time to consider how to pay for long term care could end up providing peace of mind for everyone.
Source: US News & World Report, Many Americans Worry About Cost of Long Term Care: Poll, Amy Norton, Sept. 30, 2013