“LONG TERM CARE: Caught in the Middle: How Young Parents Can Plan for Long-term Care,” by Michael Aloi, Kiplingers
Quote: “Heather’s father had little money, living only on Social Security. Medicare does not cover long-term care for more than 100 days, and they couldn’t afford to pay someone themselves. Medicaid was the only option. After several months of back and forth with government officials, Tom and Heather eventually got her father approved for Medicaid. But this was only the start. In their search for his new home, they were soon disheartened to learn their choice of long-term care facilities was limited because he was a Medicaid paying patient. The facility manager said they did not have any more Medicaid beds available. Unfortunately, this happens. Their second choice was also full. Much to their chagrin, the only facility available to their likening was 63.5 miles away. They had to do it. They could not afford the cost on their own and they had to take what Medicaid gave them.”
LTC Comment: Welcome to the Medicaid trap. This Medicaid “safety net” kept people like Tom, Heather and their parents from worrying about long-term care until someone needed it. Then despite its deficiencies Medicaid was the path of least resistance. That is the essence of what’s wrong with the LTC system. More “social insurance” won’t fix long-term care; it’s what caused the problems in the first place.