Medicaid is a federal program designed to cover the costs of medical care once a qualifying individual's funds are depleted. Steps can be taken to proactively plan to qualify for these benefits.
Health care costs are not the only expenses that continue to rise. The cost of long-term health care is also increasing. Massachusetts residents who include the possibility of needing extended care during estate planning could have the funds available when the time comes.
Medical advancements are allowing people to live longer. This means that as many as 70 percent of people over the age of 65 will need medical care for a longer period of time than in the past. Long-term health care planning could help pay for that care. Whether a Massachusetts resident is looking to save for themselves, a spouse or elderly parents, he or she has several options from which to choose.
Statistics show that men live an average of five years less than women do. As a result, many women will spend more time in long-term care at the end of their lives than men will. Therefore, long-term health care planning is more of an issue for Massachusetts women than men.
The population of our country is aging. As such, long-term health care planning -- including insurance policies to cover nursing home and assisted living costs -- becomes increasingly important. The state of Massachusetts is considering regulatory changes to the long-term health care insurance industry in the state in an attempt to provide protections for consumers.
Fears are abounding that more and more seniors will have trouble affording their long-term care, according to experts. Rising long-term care insurance rates in Massachusetts mean that health care planning has become more complicated for the state's elderly population. Coverage for nursing homes, assisted living and other health support continues to rise in price.
When a Massachusetts resident thinks about long-term care, he or she likely takes Medicare or Medicaid into consideration. Unfortunately, many Americans don't know that Medicare will not pay for nursing home stays or assisted living. The same is true for day-to-day eldercare -- and many families end up depleting their savings in order to cover the costs of this type of care for a loved one prior to his or her death. These facts make it all the more apparent that health care planning for the latter years of life should be an important component of the estate planning process.
As our loved ones get older, the reality is that many of them will need increasing levels of medical assistance. The stress of coping with these changes emotionally can be difficult enough for families in Massachusetts. Add in the confusing paperwork, the rigid restrictions of certain care programs and the high costs of certain levels of care and it can all be too much for a spouse or family member to handle.