Thursday, May 14, 2020

LTCi: The New Normal

According to The Gray Lady, about a third of all CV-19 deaths have occurred in nursing homes:

"While just 11 percent of the country’s cases have occurred in long-term care facilities, deaths related to Covid-19 in these facilities account for more than a third of the country’s pandemic fatalities."

This makes sense, of course; these are pretty much the most vulnerable among us, kept in a relatively small,confined environment.

Heck, even now, politicos know enough to move their own parents out of these places:

"Pennsylvania Health Secretary Rachel Levine’s mother moved out of a personal care home with the health secretary’s help, after Levine ordered all nursing homes and long-term facilities in the state to accept coronavirus patients from hospitals."

#SomeAreMoreEqualThanOthers, one supposes.


So what does this have to do with Long Term Care insurance?

Well as FoIB (and LTCi Guru) Randy G explains, the impact of this is enormous:

Knowing that most (all?) nursing homes have been essentially on lock-down for the past two-plus months, and deaths are still mounting at them, it makes sense that, going forward, even more folks will opt for in-home care. Which is great for places like Visiting Angels and the like, but who pays for this?

If your immediate response was Medicaid, well, think again:

"[B]ecause most individuals would rather be cared for at home and home care is cheaper, all 50 states now have Medicaid programs that offer at least some home care."

The key word here is some, and as states are being saddled with more and more of the Medicaid financial burden, look for those to become even more curtailed. And it's also important to understand just what in-home services are being covered:

"Medicaid home care services are typically provided through home- and community-based services "waiver" programs."


And this is where a properly constructed Long Term Care Insurance plan comes in: one that covers both facility and in-home care (which is pretty much standard now) can offer peace of mind (and choice!). If you've been putting off looking at a plan, there are still a lot of choices available (and yes, that includes you folks over 65).

Oh, and if you think we're exaggerating about the impact of this situation on the future of nursing homes, Randy G also sent along this:

"Someday, most of us will return to life before COVID-19. Nursing homes will not ... Operators are being crushed by higher costs and shrinking revenues."

But wait, there's more:

"Even before COVID-19, the mixed business model of nursing homes was extremely challenging for all but the most efficient providers ... Some of those short-term challenges may fade over time. But some will not."

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