It is never too premature to begin the steps for Medi-Cal planning for the future of yourself, your family members, or loved ones. It can, however, be too late depending on the emergency situation and any laws that may pass in the future that can prevent one for effective long-term care planning. The future of long term care in America is heading for a real crisis.
According to the 2012 Social Security Fiscal Report, 76 million Americans will turn 65 from 2007-2027 (approximately 10,000 everyday). Of those, 70% will require some form of long-term care in their lifetime. That’s 53.2 million long-term care patients.
Half of those (26.6 million people) will need care that will last for more than one year. The 2009 National Nursing Home Survey reports that the average patient stays in a long-term care facility for approximately 30 months. Average monthly costs for a Nursing home can start from $7,000 to $9,000, and up to of an excess of 20,000 just to get the care they need.
Our prediction is that Medi-Cal will not be around to pay for long-term care once the baby boomers start to reach nursing home age. Studies show that the overwhelming majority of baby boomers have not saved enough for their retirement. Although unfortunate, most Baby Boomers are counting on their inheritances for their retirement, but is a catastrophic illness or disease or accident requires a parent to receive long-term care, there may not be anything left in parent’s estate to inherit.
Is it too late?
Under current California law, parents can legally protect their homes and still qualify for Medi-Cal, BUT THEY MUST ACT SOON. The Medi-Cal rules must and will change. Once California implements the federal guidelines, people will have to tap into their home equity in the form of reverse mortgages to pay for long-term care.
That’s why making sure to plan for the future is so important, through creating estate planning and asset protection documents with languages to ensure your appointed agents can plan for your future in the event you become incapacitated.