Baby Boomers and Healthcare Needs

One of the most important decisions you will ever have to make is how you will take care of yourself when you get older and are unable to do so on your own.

If you are lucky, you have a family who will welcome you with open arms when you can no longer live by yourself. If you are even luckier, these family members are people you would actually be happy to live out the rest of your life with!

More people end up moving into a nursing home or an assisted care facility. This type of long term care is often quite expensive and difficult for individuals, and even extended families, to afford, especially for an extended period of time.

When given the choice, the majority of people – up to 65% in some surveys – would opt to continue living, and receiving care, in their own homes. But sometimes this, too, is infeasible often due to financial reasons.

Baby Boomers are defined as the approximately 75 million people born after World War II in the“Baby Boom,” generally thought of as spanning the years between 1946 and 1964. Many of these people are now entering their 60s and are faced with this life-altering question – Just how are they going to take care of themselves in their Golden Years? Especially when, due to illness, disabilities, and financial difficulties, they turn out to be not so golden.

Fortunately for the millions of senior citizens needing help taking care of themselves, there are several stipulations in the new health care caw that may offer realistic answers to this often mind-boggling question. And these answers focus on keeping people in their homes while still receiving the care they need.

The CLASS (Community Living Assistance Service and Supports) Act will set up a federal insurance plan for American citizens who need long term care. This innovative program will help the elderly pay for ongoing care in their own homes. For many retiring Baby Boomers in need of such care, this will be a dream come true.

The idea is that those still working will choose to pay into this plan and, after only five years, will qualify to receive about $75/day to help offset the costs of care based in the home and / or community. This translates to over $27,000 per year! Although this is not an infinite amount of funding, it will definitely help, especially in cases where the elderly person is already receiving assistance from family members and other programs.

Several other provisions of our new health care plan are bound to help the Baby Boomer generation:

  • A higher percentage of people on Medicaid will be able to receive care at home.
  • Spouses of people receiving long term care on Medicaid will be able to get help before spending all of their savings.
  • The lifetime limit, or “cap,” has been abolished. This will affect more than 100 million people.
  • More than 18 million American citizens will directly benefit from the new health plan.
  • 6-8 million previously uninsured people will now be insured.
  • Almost 1 ½ million people who are already insured will receive more benefits.

Many Baby Boomers do not get the health care they need due to a combination of rising costs and diminishing funds. And, unfortunately, this is the group who needs that health care most. The new health laws will help these people, who have certainly paid their dues, truly enjoy their golden years.

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