Often people are reluctant to access federal or state government programs because they want to, "pay their own way." Financial independence is an admirable sentiment. Nevertheless, financing the costs of long term care when a loved one enters the nursing home remains a problem for many seniors.
A classic example
The doctor sees three patients.
To the first patient the doctor says, "Iíve got good news for you. You have heart disease. You require quadruple by-pass surgery. The cost will be $250,000. The good news is Medicare and your supplemental insurance pays all costs.
The doctor sees the second patient and says, "Iíve got good news for you. You have cancer and require radical surgical intervention. The cost will be $100,000. The good news is Medicare and your supplemental insurance pays all costs.
Finally, the doctor sees the third patient and says, "Iíve got bad news for you. Youíre going to live a very long time. You have Alzheimerís disease. The bad news is that you will spend your life savings on your costs of nursing home care. You donít have a health care problem. You have a housing problem."
In this country we discriminate based upon the type of illness you have, acute or chronic. If, by the luck of the draw, you have an acute condition and require hospitalization, your health care costs are covered. If you have a chronic illness Ė like dementia, stroke or Parkinsonís disease Ė anything that requires custodial care in a nursing home for an extended period, your life savings are at risk.
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Geraldine E. Champion, Attorney at Law The Law Offices of Geraldine E. Champion 182 South 10th Street Grover Beach, CA 93433 Tel: (805) 473-4747
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