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.
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.
As the population of the United States gets older, planning for retirement may not be enough. Massachusetts residents may want to consider long-term health care planning as well. Putting a plan in place to pay for the possibility of a need to be moved to an assisted living center or nursing home can provide an individual and his or her family with options they may not otherwise have when the time comes.
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.
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.