“Tallying the Cost of Growing Older”

Tallying the Cost of Growing Older,” by Paula Span, New York Times



“Their results: Seventeen percent of 65-year-olds will need no long-term care. Almost one-quarter will develop severe needs, requiring many hours of help for more than three years. Most older people will fall between those poles, with 22 percent having only minimal needs. The largest group, 38 percent, can expect moderate needs — like support while they recover from a heart attack, after which they can again function independently. … The researchers calculated how much care retirees would need, how much they could receive from family and how much they could afford to buy (at $22 an hour for a home health aide in 2018). The study determined that 36 percent of people in their late 60s could not cover even a year of minimal care without exhausting their resources; only 22 percent could cover severe needs. … Low-income people, who are less able to purchase help but more likely to need it, might qualify for Medicaid, which pays for long-term care. But that could mean a nursing home, because Medicaid waiting lists for home care are years long in some states. A few people, about 10 percent, have bought private long-term care insurance. Others will be left in a bind that financial planning can’t really address.”

LTC Comment, Stephen A. Moses, President, Center for Long-Term Care Reform:

Predictably the proposed solution is forcing people to fund a compulsory public LTC program. Supposedly that would give people “peace of mind.” What planet are these researchers from? Do Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid unfunded liabilities, fraud, waste, and quality problems give you peace of mind? Thank goodness we’re beginning a weekend. That will do much more for my peace of mind than turning more long-term care over to the same politicians and bureaucrats that ruined what we have now.