In our uncertain economic and healthcare environment, we’re all keeping a very close eye on the costs associated with all things related to those two dynamics. If you care for an elderly loved one, you know well how stressful that can be. Over the past five years, there has been a 25 percent increase in nursing home costs and in fact, these costs are now twice the amount that it takes to send a kid to college.
It’s not just those in private rooms, either. For those who are in semi-private rooms, they’ve seen their costs increase. For a private nursing home room, it costs, on average, $86,000. In a semi-private room, they pay more than $75,400 annually. Assisted living facilities are slightly lower in costs, but it’s still more than $40,000 on average for a single year.
Taking it a step further: Americans over the age of 65 are expected to increase dramatically as more baby boomers enter into retirement.
It seems, for many families, no matter here they turn, they’re looking at astronomical costs associated with caring for their elderly family members. Of course, private insurance, veteran’s benefits, Medicaid and Medicare help, but it can be time consuming and frankly, exhausting, to get those dynamics lined up.
There’s another problem, too. Home health aides and others in the medical field who aren’t doctors or nurses are often earning minimum wage, or slightly more than minimum wage. Needless to say, there’s usually a high turnover in home health agencies and hospitals. The training costs alone can be incredibly expensive and those costs are always passed on to the taxpayer or patient.
Aside from that, consider these facts:
There are around 58,000 healthcare services providers on payrolls around the country. These 58,000 professionals – who work hard to provide the best care for their patients – serve 8 million Americans every day. Further, 1.5 million of those Americans are in nursing homes with another 800,000 who reside in assisted living or residential care facilities. That’s a lot of hard working people sharing the same goal of protecting those in need.
So if all of these realities are impossible, you may be wondering what’s left in terms of how you can offset some of these realities. Proper estate planning can go a long way in covering these ever-growing costs. With proper planning for Medicaid – including preparing for the 5 year look back period, along with long term healthcare insurance policies and even some trusts, you can better manage these soaring prices and in fact, can offset many of them in such a way that it doesn’t annihilate your budget. After all, no one wants to spend their retirement worried about making financial ends meet.
It’s a big problem, but there are solutions for retirees and the elderly. Sometimes, it’s just a matter of having the right people in your court who understand these intricacies.
If you’d like to learn more about reducing healthcare costs, especially if you’re facing having to put a loved one in a nursing home, give us a call today to explore ways to keep those costs down and avoid losing everything you spent years building.