Medicare, long-term care planning, and money

A story reported by The Motley Fool said said that most Americans don’t have enough money to cover all of the health needs they will likely have as they age. A retired couple who are both age 65, for example, will spend about $260,000 in out-of-pocket healthcare expenses before they die.

It’s no question that Medicare is imperative to the health and care of seniors in Florida and across the country. Between 2010 and 2015, the number of people older than 65 will double, from 40 million to 84 million, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.

People are living longer, and the statistics support that: People age 80 and older will triple; those in their 90s and 100s will quadruple by 2050. Medicare per capita spending rises with age, the foundation reports, which could cause problems for the program down the road as lawmakers look for cuts. Medicare spending in 2016 amounted to $588 billion. This represents 15 percent of the $3.9 trillion federal budget last year, or about $1 out of every $7 in federal spending.

If you or an elderly relative becomes ill or suffers an injury, Medicare will help pay for rehab in a skilled nursing facility, up to a point, and with rules. Both Medicare Part A and Part B is likely needed in most cases.

Part A is hospital insurance that helps cover inpatient care in hospitals, skilled nursing facilities, hospice, and home health care. Most paid for Part A in Medicare taxes for years, long before they retired.

Part B helps cover outpatient care, durable medical equipment, home health services, and other medical services. Part B requires a premium each month which is taken directly from Social Security checks. Most people pay just over $100 a month for part B.

Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care or custodial care. Everyone should have an estate plan in place that includes long-term care planning, trusts and other investments that can provide income and pay for healthcare coverage if needed. Don’t rely on the government to care for you when you need help. Talk to an estate planning attorney today with experience in elder care and long-term care planning — and give you and your family peace of mind.

Our experienced and trusted estate planning attorneys have been serving Treasure Coast families for decades, and Michael Fowler is one of only nine attorneys in the state of Florida who is double board-certified in wills trusts and estates and in elder law.  Contact us for your initial consultation at one of our conveniently located offices in Fort Pierce, Stuart, Port St. Lucie, Vero Beach, and Okeechobee.