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Inflation drives long-term care costs even higher. Here’s how planning ahead can help families afford it – CNBC

Stan Horwitz and his family didn’t have any plans regarding long-term care until there was a crisis. His father, Martin, was in his late 80s and lived alone. He was reluctant to accept any assistance from his children.

One day…….

Stan Horwitz and his family didn’t have any plans regarding long-term care until there was a crisis. His father, Martin, was in his late 80s and lived alone. He was reluctant to accept any assistance from his children.

One day, Stan and his sister found their dad unconscious in his living room after a fall. This incident six years ago set off a cascade of medical issues. Martin was never able to return home. And when it came to trying to sort out his father’s finances, “the bureaucracy was intense,” Stan said. 

He said his father was diligent about putting money away, but the cost of nursing care wiped out his life savings — $300,000 — in four years. Martin, now 93, qualifies for Medicaid, which pays for his skilled nursing care. 

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The Horwitz family’s ordeal in paying for long-term care services is not unusual — and high inflation will likely make the rising costs more difficult for many families to afford this care. 

Inflation has now replaced staffing as a top concern of skilled nursing and senior housing facilities, according to a new survey, as small increases in essential operating expenses — food, supplies and energy — are making a big impact and aren’t easy to cut.  

How much long-term care can cost

The average 65-year-old has a 70% change of needing long-term care, according to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Yet, 1 in 10 of middle-income adults ages 44 to 64 do not have long-term care insurance, according to a survey by Arctos Foundation and HCG Secure. And, many people are not aware that Medicare does not cover costs associated with long-term care services, which can include dressing and bathing. 

The costs can vary widely by type of care and location. On average, long-term care costs $50,000 a year at home and $100,000 in a nursing home, according to Long Term Care Group, which provides services to the long-term care and life insurance industry. But in Connecticut, LTCG found nursing home care cost an average $165,000 a year and, in Texas, just over $70,000. 

Traditional long-term care policies are expensive

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Few long-term care insurance policies have unlimited coverage. Costs vary widely and depend on age, gender, health and other risk-factors. For a new policy with $165,000 benefit, a healthy 55-year-old could pay $45,000 in premiums by the time they turn 85, according to the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance.

Tom Beauregard was an executive in the health insurance industry when his parents were …….

Source: https://www.cnbc.com/2022/08/30/planning-ahead-can-help-families-afford-long-term-care-amid-inflation.html

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