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Bankrupt Healthcare
Nobody Expects The Eldercare Crisis

America is facing a huge eldercare crisis but nobody seems to realize it. The Washington Post compares expectations to reality in a piece that shows how challenging the aging of America will be:

About 60 percent of adults between 40 and 65 years old don’t think they’ll need need long-term care services, according to a new Health Affairs study. That’s much less than the 70 percent of people at least 65 years old who will need long-term care services at some point either in their home or at a facility, according to a widely cited earlier study from the Georgetown University Long-Term Care Financing Project.

One dimension of this crisis also uncovered by the Health Affairs study is that people are overly optimistic about whether their family or Medicare will be able to take care of them. In reality, however, “37 percent of people over 65 will need at least some facility-based care and 42 percent will need some formal care at home,” and Medicare doesn’t pay very well for nursing homes.

Even if people were to think ahead more intelligently, however, the options are not all that great. Buying long-term care insurance when you are younger is one way to face eldercare costs, but both individuals and the government often find it too expensive. The lack of easy solutions to this problem, however, makes it all the more important for us to think more much about it, both individually and as nation, than we currently appear to be doing.

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  • Josephbleau

    Why should I buy insurance or otherwise prepare? If I can’t pay then it is my natural right for the taxpayers to be assessed by the Government to pay my care and I will be in a nice bed next to the folks who have money to pay. I will model myself after Ex Democratic Illinois Senator Carol Mosely Brawn who was found to have taken the assets of her mother and placed her in a home claiming she had no money left.

    • FriendlyGoat

      Those “nice folks” will only allow you to have an adjacent bed if you promise not to opine for their entertainment.

      • Josephbleau

        Do my words trouble you?

  • Fat_Man

    Joseph Epstein, whose essays I enjoy wrote the following:

    “Old Age and Other Laughs” by Joseph Epstein, 03.01.12

    “Being an insurance salesman and having me there in his office, Jack couldn’t resist asking me if my wife and I have assisted-living
    insurance, a policy designed for older people that pays for caregivers … Assisted-living insurance is very expensive, especially
    if one first acquires it in one’s 70s, the decade my wife and I are now in.

    “’Thanks all the same, Jack, but we have no need for assisted-living insurance,’ I said. ‘We have pistols.’

    “’Great,’ he replied, nicely on beat. ‘I just hope when the time comes to use them you are able to find them.’”

    • rheddles

      That’s why I keep mine in the top drawer of the bedstand. Dual purpose.

  • Boritz

    It was expected by the architects of Obamacare:  the end-of-life counseling provision that ended up being dropped.

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