News Release from American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance
Nearly one third (31.5 percent) of Medicaid's $400 billion in shared federal and state spending goes to pay for long term care for the elderly and the disabled according to a presentation by Jesse Slome, executive director of the American Association for Long Term Care Insurance.
"This places an enormous toll on budgets especially at the state level," Slome explains. The spending ranges from less than 8 percent in Hawaii, where nursing home use is low, to more than 60 percent in North Dakota according to data compiled by the trade group.
"Many people wrongly assume that Medicare will cover long term care," Slome admits. "But at most it covers 100 days of rehabilitation, not so-called custodial care which is the help with activities of daily life, like eating and bathing, that the aged can need for years. Most care is paid for or provided by family members who often spend down their savings to poverty levels"
According to the long term care insurance expert, a 2009 analysis by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that direct, out-of-pocket spending by individuals and families accounts for 22 percent of the $178 billion spent on nursing homes.
The Association director shared the just-released 2013 Spousal Impoverishment Standards and Home Equity Standards. The new minimum Community Spouse Resource Allowance (CSRA) is $23,184.00. The new maximum CSRA is $115,920.00.
The new Minimum Monthly Maintenance Needs Allowance is $1,891.25, and the new maximum MMMNA is $2,898.00 until July 1, 2013 (for all States except Alaska and Hawaii). The new Community Spouse Monthly Housing Allowance is $567.38 (for all States except Alaska and Hawaii).
The new minimum Home Equity Limits is $536,000.00, and the new maximum limit is $802,000.00.
"States will be seeking ways to control spending as taxpayers refuse to pay more in federal and state taxes," Slome acknowledged. "That will make long term care insurance an ever more viable option for those who want to avoid having to depend on whatever government programs exist in the years ahead"
Established in 1998 as a non-profit trade group, the Los Angeles, California-based American Association for Long Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of planning for long term care and supports insurance and financial professionals who market LTC insurance. To learn more about long term care insurance costs call the organization's offices at (818) 597-3227 or visit the Association's website.