For those that are involved in the industry, it’s been obvious for quite a while that policies need to change when it comes to insurance and paying for senior care. Even though there has been very little progress when it comes to federal law here, things are starting to change for the better. However, because it hasn’t been the federal government initiating those changes, it has been left largely to the states to ensure that resident insurance companies are implementing policies that are designed to help older people and their need for long term care. Change has been slow, but it has started to happen.
Consider what’s happening in New Jersey, for example. Although it isn’t required at the federal level, laws there have moved forward so that in-home care is more easily accessible via Medicare. This has made it much cheaper for the long term care to be administered in many cases at the governmental level, and it has made care less intrusive to the lives of those in that state. Most states already have a similar policy when it comes Medicaid, but Medicare does not have the same restrictions, so more people use this type of insurance. There’s still a lot of fine tuning that will be needed to improve policies, but so far, things look promising.
It is encouraging that some states are taking the initiative to help their residents reduce their out of pocket costs when it comes to senior care. Hopefully, this will be a successful endeavor and other states will follow suit. Depending on how it is implemented, this could be very beneficial and help both the government and people cut down on their costs and improve the quality of senior care that’s being received at the same time. Only time will tell if this is the case.
In the meantime, we can’t wait for states to come around and improve senior care coverage. There are steps that we can take as individuals right now to help ensure that our loved ones have the care and assistance that they need.
For one, know what your loved one needs. Know what the best type of care for them is, and then start looking at care services nearby that offer services that meet those needs. You might be surprised to find that those needs can be met without your loved one moving into a high cost nursing home. This isn’t always the case, but a lot of the time it is. It happens far more often than you might think.
Next, look at how that cost can be covered. Insurance might pay for some of it, but Medicare and Medi-Cal are not all that can help. A lot of communities have assistance programs. Contact your local Department of Social Services for a list of nonprofits near that might help.
Finally, take action. When the need for care arises, the sooner you act, the easier the process will be. Ensuring that your parent has the best care around you won’t necessarily make this easier, but it can be comforting to know that they are in good hands.