Wednesday, May 23, 2012

It Depends...

No, no, no.

Ever heard of the "Dependency Ratio?" Me either, but it's important, and it's scary:

"The U.S. Census Bureau recently reported that the dependency ratio, or the number of people 65 and older to every 100 people of traditional working ages, is projected to climb rapidly from 22 in 2010 to 35 in 2030"

Right now, about 1 in 5 of us is 65 or older. So what, you ask? Well, let's look at that number. It means that about 8 out of ten are working age. But with real unemployment at almost 15%, there are less than 7 working people supporting every 10 retirees. And that number's likely to go even lower as the Boomers continue reaching retirement age.

Why is this scary? Glad you asked:

"A Pennsylvania state appeals court has ruled that the adult son of a nursing home resident is responsible for her unpaid $93,000 bill. And the decision has some elder care lawyers wondering if this is just the beginning of a trend."

The Keystone State is just one of the 30 states which currently have "filial responsibility statutes" on the books. These regs impose an affirmative duty on "adult children to care for their indigent parents;" providers like nursing homes can seek restitution from them. And as the situation continues to deteriorate, how long will it be before the other 28 states follow suit?

So why bring it up?

Well, this is InsureBlog - perhaps there's a clue. How many of us have seriously considered Long Term Care insurance for ourselves? How many fewer have considered it for their parents? Well, LTCi can cost some decent bucks. But with the potential for a $93,000 (or more!) "filial financial burden" it may turn out to be very cheap indeed.

UPDATE: Courtesy of Bob, here's a list of the 30 states with "Filial Responsibility" statutes.
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