As baby boomers continue to age, they face a number of issues that are far different from the concerns faced by their parents. Advances in medicine and technology have increased the average American life span, and many baby boomers in New Jersey and elsewhere can expect to live into their 80s and even into their 90s. With advanced age, however, comes the increased likelihood that many will require some sort of residential nursing care in their later years. This means that nursing home planning is an important topic for older Americans.
Data from the Genworth 2012 Cost of Care Survey suggests that the daily cost of care for adult day care services averaged $61 nationally, with any additional services coming at an increased cost. For those who require residential care, the expense in one state was estimated to be $3,304 per month. With an average length of stay at a residential facility ranging from 24 to 28 months, those expenses can quickly add up.
When considering how to address these potential expenses, many families consider long-term care insurance. While there are many good policies available, coverage becomes more expensive as individuals age, and, after the age of 75 it can be difficult to find any carrier that will offer a policy at any cost. This leaves many families looking at other options, including Medicaid.
Medicaid is a government program that will kick in and cover the cost of residential nursing home care, but only after certain requirements have been met. Primarily, individuals and families will have to considerably deplete their wealth before they are eligible for Medicaid coverage. It is, however, possible to include Medicaid in nursing home planning and to allocate assets in a manner that preserves a New Jersey family's hard-earned wealth, while still ensuring that loved ones have the ability to obtain the care that they need.
Source: www.memphisdailynews.com, "OK, Baby Boomers: Time for Some Hard Decisions", Kathy Carlson, Jan. 24, 2015