We shouldn’t be too surprised – this is the trend in America.
Driving my wife to work today I heard on the radio news that in Montana it costs about $77,000 a year for nursing home care.
Who the hell is supposed to afford that?
More, the report said that Medicaid/Medicare doesn’t cover all the costs for this.
In fact, we know that Medicare funds just 7% of the nation’s total nursing home bills, “primarily because it only covers skilled care.”
Medicaid is a little better, funding 64% of all nursing home bills. And unless your total assets are less than $2,500, you’ll be paying for your nursing home care out of pocket.
That’s if you’re single.
If you’re a married senior and your spouse goes to a long-term care facility you can keep assets of $109,560 and still qualify for Medicaid…and the nice thing is that you don’t need to include your home in that total.
So what are people supposed to do?
I guess fend for themselves. That’s probably pretty tough when you can barely move and the ol’ Alzheimer’s is knocking on your door.
Here’s a detailed list of Montana’s long-term care for seniors, from the Genworth 2015 Cost of Care Survey Montana PDF:
So here in Missoula it’ll cost you, on average, $3,838 a month to stay in just an assisted care facility. That comes out to $46,050 a year.
For a nursing home it’ll cost you $245 a day on average, or $89,381 a year.
Where are people supposed to get that money?
It’s probably best not to ask.
In Montana we have 141 assisted living facilities and the vast majority will encourage you to have long-term care insurance.
My parents have this, and they’re smart – I’m a member of the millennial generation so we know I won’t be saving for retirement.
We know from the 2013 Montana Consumer Guide to Long-Term Care Insurance PDF that just 1.4% of 65-74 year-olds stay in a nursing home for more than 90 days.
When you go up to 75-84 years of age that goes up to 6% and by the time you’re 85-years old or older it’s 25%.
- We know that 44% of seniors stay in a long-term care facility for less than 1 year.
- 30% of seniors stay for 1 to 3 years.
- 12% stay for 3 to 5 years
- 12% are in these homes for more than 5 years.
Despite these short stays, the cost of long-term care has gone up substantially.
In 1994 the average cost for long-term care insurance was $1,500 a year. By 2010 it’d shot up to $5,000 a year.
In 2014 MSU did a study on Montana seniors who are living in poverty.
They polled 207 people and found that 33% of those households had a senior citizen and that 63% of those households were living in poverty.
More, 57% were living below half of the poverty line, 51% were receiving food stamps, and 33% were skipping meals due to their poverty.
You’ll remember that we tooka detailed look at food stamps in Montana in January.
We know that in America, more than 25 million seniors are “economically insecure,” which means they’re living at or below 250% of the federal poverty level.
A total of one-third of our seniors in America are living month to month, with nothing saved from one month to the next.
In 2013 we know that 61% of these households had debt, and in America that year the average rate of senior citizen debt was $40,900.
I think it’s clear that we don’t care about senior citizens.
I guess we could say they don’t care about themselves as well, considering they don’t have much money, much insurance, or much of anything else.
Is that their fault?
I guess we have to blame them a little, but at the same time we have 65 million seniors living on Social Security and in 2016 they did not get a cost of living increase.
As you can see, seniors have had a cost of living increase every year since 1975…excluding 2010 and 2011.
I think it’s plain for all to see that in America and in Montana we don’t care about senior citizens.
This shouldn’t be surprising at all.
- We don’t care about veterans, cutting off their access to care with long wait times and incompetent administrators.
- We don’t care about students, shackling them with tens of thousands in student loan debt for an education their parents virtually got for free.
- We don’t care about workers, for we gave up unionizing them and increasing their wages.
We don’t care about much in this country.
Well…that’s not true.
We care a lot about the elite.