Senior Citizens

If 3 out of 4 person 65 years or older will need long-term care for an average of 3 years and the cost of long term care equates to $72000 per year, discuss the financial state that you believe the US will be in as the baby boomers age

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As the US moves to the baby boomers age, there is sufficient reason to be worried about how the country will manage the costs of long-term care for its senior citizens. The cost of long-term care per person is approximately $72,000 annually for, on average, three years. Three quarters of senior citizens above the age of 65 have been deemed to require long-term care. It makes the cost of long-term care on average $216,000 per person for the baby boomers in America (PBS video, 2013). Considering the fact that the population of Americans over the age of 65 was about 13% of the entire population in January 2013, it is a huge burden for the US economy (Bureau, 2013).

The government is struggling to pay for long-term care for its senior citizens through the Medicare and Social Security fund programs. Already, these have proven vastly inadequate for the sustenance of the senior citizens. Medicare provides less than is needed for the adequate care of elderly people. It provides the basic care for elderly people for only 100 days. While the people above the age of 65 require medical care for on average three years, many of them require the care for much longer period. It may deplete, in addition to the money set aside for long-term care in the Medicare program, the person’s savings plus the family wealth.

According to geriatrician Dr. Bruce Perry, long-term care is the cause of loss of wealth for many families (PBS video, 2013). It could be a disaster for several families, and, by extension, the entire American economy as we get into the baby boomers age (Morrissey, Janet, 2011). The large percentage of Americans, who are potential candidates for long-term care, could stretch the American economy to its limits. The unfortunate part is that insurance and other programs, which have been formulated to enable the lessening of this burden, have not been respited enough.

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Based on the clause that Medicare covers skilled care, but not custodial care, what are your thoughts on Medicare coverage? Why?

Medicare coverage has proved enormously insufficient to cater for the needs of ageing people. Long-term care is needed for on average three years for about three quarters of people above the age of 65. Medicare pays for only up to 100 days of skilled care in nursing facilities.

There are several problems with the Medicare program and the package they have to offer for the elderly people. First, the time span for which the care is guaranteed is much below adequate. Secondly, Medicare does not pay for custodian care. Custodian care relates to everyday needs of the patient, which include bathing, dressing, and eating. Therefore, Medicare is a drop in the ocean regarding the needs of the elderly.

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Yet, another problem about Medicare is that its dispensation requires spending all savings of the family. It is a serious complication as far as the eligibility for Medicare is concerned. The majority of Americans usually have some savings by the time they reach retirement. In effect, this means that they would have to remain penniless before they can qualify for the Medicaid program. Therefore, it is no surprise that many families lose their wealth as they pursue long-term care for their aged family members.

In a nutshell, Medicare lives up to its true name of being a safety net for those whose savings may not afford them long-term care, or those who may not have an insurance plan to cater for their long-term needs. Therefore, Medicare cannot pay for long-term care for the vast majority of people.

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