With the members of the baby boomer generation now entering their senior years, one of the stresses we’re going to have to deal with as a nation is the fiscal challenge created by the costs of long-term health care. Studies indicate that about 12 million older Americans are currently in need of long-term support services and approximately 70 percent of people age 65 and older will need intense long-term care at some point in their lives.
These costs are not cheap. According to the Bipartisan Policy Center, the average monthly cost to be in a nursing facility is approximately $7,300, for a home health aide it’s roughly $3,800 per month and a community-based adult day care center will run about $1,600 per month. When you combine the mathematical realities of our aging population with the costs to provide elderly people with long-term health care, you get this staggering result: spending on long-term care is expected to skyrocket from 1.3 percent of the GDP in 2010 to 3 percent of GDP in 2050.
Of course, insurance industry participants and some elected officials have been working hard to come up with creative solutions to this emerging social challenge. Long-term care insurance, which has historically been overlooked by the vast majority of Americans, is becoming more accepted as one component of a family’s financial plan.
Some states have begun offering cash benefits to informal caregivers if the person they are caring for is eligible for Medicaid, which creates an important new option for families.
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Originally Published at LifeHealthPro: