Navigation Links
Long-Term Care Financing Must Be Part of Health Care Reform

Long-term care financing reform must be included in health care reform. Most Americans are not insured for long-term care, which can cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. This article is written by Kathryn Roberts, president and CEO, Ecumen, the most innovative leader of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer and fuller lives. Kathryn also serves on the board of the American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging

Shoreview, Minnesota (PRWEB) July 7, 2011 -- Long-term care financing reform must be included in health care reform according to this article by Ecumen CEO Kathryn Roberts. Ecumen is the most innovative leader of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer and fuller lives. Kathryn also serves on the board of the AAHSA, which created The Long-Term Care Solution.

Most American adults are uninsured for long-term care and supportive services, such as home care or an assisted living community, meaning many of us cannot afford the cost of a longer life or long-term disabilities. Long-term care services and supports must be part of meaningful health care reform.

In public policy, payment and perception, we've mistakenly segregated acute care and chronic care. For example, if someone over 65 suffers a stroke, Medicare jumps in with procedures and payments attempting to save the person. But upon release from the hospital, Medicare ignores that person's less expensive, longer-duration supportive services. Nor does it pay for such things as Alzheimer's care or other intensive long-term care that a young adult with a disability may need.

Nearly 70 percent of those who turned 65 in 2005 will need some long-term services. The average time: three years. Contracting with a home aide just three days per week for 2-3 hours at a time to provide basics such as meal preparation and help with dressing can easily cost $1,000 to $2,000 per month. Nursing home care is much more expensive. The average annual cost for a private room in the U.S. is more than $75,000.

The status quo means many will continue impoverishing themselves and turning to Medicaid - a government program and de facto long-term care provider. Primarily paying for institutional care, its "payments" already fall far short in meeting true costs. Without financing reform, we're simply cost shifting and avoiding the main issue - finance reform for longevity and chronic care.

For example, it's expedient to say that families should provide more care. But most families can't afford to or they impossibly juggle between care giving and their other full-time job, shortchanging both. Another expedient approach is simply cutting Medicaid further and reducing such things as at-home services. But that contributes to a more expensive volley between home and the emergency room.

Our country's overriding goals should be empowering people to live in the most independent setting possible; transforming nursing homes into right-sized, very specialized chronic care centers that contribute to a well-coordinated lifetime of care; taking a personal share in costs of chronic care and supportive services; and ensuring a strong safety net for people who never will be able to pay for such care and services.

If America were creating a chronic care system today, we'd never make Medicaid the primary payer. We'd never require people to impoverish themselves to get coverage. And we'd never rely simply on hope, hope that people would purchase private care policies. We'd create a solution balancing personal responsibility and a secure safety net.

The CLASS Act (Community Assistance Living Services & Supports) introduced by the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor & Pensions is that opportunity. In the opt-out insurance plan, people would pay a premium of approximately $65 per month in return for a minimum daily benefit of $50 that they can self-direct. It would make private wrap-around insurance policies appealing because consumers would easily understand what their dollars buy and they'd know such a product could guarantee quality of life and fiscal security. It also could gain a state good housekeeping seal from state or federal governments, further enhancing consumer confidence in such a product.

The Congressional Budget Office's evaluation of the CLASS Act shows no cost to the government over the next 10 years, a positive savings of $2.5 billion in Medicaid in the first 10 years alone, and long-term sustainability. This would transform financing of long-term services and supports, assist America's workers and future retirees, enhance intergenerational financial security, and promote choice and independence. Without a long-term care financing solution, America doesn't have true health care reform.

Kathryn Roberts is president and CEO of Ecumen. It is the most innovative leader of senior housing and services, empowering individuals to live richer and fuller lives. Follow Ecumen on its blog Changing Aging.


Read the full story at

Source: PRWeb
Copyright©2009 Vocus, Inc.
All rights reserved  

Related medicine news :

1. Obama Administration Advances Long-Term Services and Supports in Health Care Reform
2. Low birth weight linked to long-term respiratory problems
3. Roche Diabetes Care Announces Unique Coaching Program for Diabetes Educators as Part of Long-Term Commitment to Fight the Disease
4. Get Long-Term Care Protection Now; Dont Wait for Health Reform, Industry Leader Advises
5. AAHSA Statement on Long-Term Services and Supports CBO Scoring
6. Sleep May Be Essential for Long-Term Memory
7. Hypoallergenic Cat Company Launches Pet Buddies Program to Donate Its Unique Kittens to Pet-Allergic Children Undergoing Long-Term Medical Treatment
8. Medical Study Establishes First-Ever Long-Term Benefits for Macular Degeneration Sufferers Using Macular Health Vitamin Supplement
9. Program Helps 1st Graders Stay Safe Long-Term
10. Long-term care costs exceed yearly income for many Calif. seniors living alone
11. John Hancock Announces Enhancements to Group Long-Term Care (LTC) Insurance Products and Discount Program
Post Your Comments:
Related Image:
Long-Term Care Financing Must Be Part of Health Care Reform
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... ProSidebar: Fashion is a set of ... With ProSidebar: Fasion, video editors can easily add an informative sidebar to any FCPX ... Utilize presets featuring self-animating drop zones, lines, bars, and text with the ease ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... 2015 , ... A simply groundbreaking television series, "Voices in America", which is ... an array of issues that are presently affecting Americans. Dedicated to providing the world ... is changing the subjects consumers focus on, one episode at a time. , ...
(Date:11/27/2015)... ... November 27, 2015 , ... The ... and prominent nonprofit healthcare organizations in the country. They have overseen financial turnarounds, ... and helped advance the healthcare industry as a whole through their advocacy and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... Patients at Serenity ... have come together on Thanksgiving Day to share the things that they are ... the Serenity Point YouTube channel, patients displayed what they wrote on index cards, ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... ... November 26, 2015 , ... The Catalent Applied Drug Delivery ... to integrate dose form selection in early phase drug development. The first of ... and bringing together the UK’s emerging life sciences companies, corporate partners, and investors, ...
Breaking Medicine News(10 mins):
(Date:11/26/2015)... 2015 Research and Markets ( ) has ... Market Outlook to 2019 - Rise in Cardiac Disorders and ... report to their offering. Boston ... scientific and others. --> The ... Boston scientific and others. ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... , November 26, 2015 ... the addition of the  "2016 Future ... Global Cell Surface Testing Market: Supplier ... to their offering.  --> ... of the  "2016 Future Horizons and ...
(Date:11/26/2015)... November 26, 2015 ... addition of the  "2016 Future Horizons ... Therapeutic Drug Monitoring (TDM) Market: Supplier ... Emerging Opportunities"  report to their offering.  ... announced the addition of the  "2016 ...
Breaking Medicine Technology: