Jean WolfeCFP, CIMA, CPWA

Vice President

Minnetonka Office
Phone: (952) 249-7617
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Jean’s Journal July 19 2017

 
Health Care and Money - Why Everyone Should Care. 

 
As I reflect the ongoing debates and discussion of what to do with our Health Care system and wicked web of challenges in spending on insurance and care.  I attached 2 links to very good articles on Medicaid and how changes to this system may impact you or your family.
 

These two articles summarize the challenges of our own fates in aging.  For those that still believe they have control over the outcomes of our aging, many may comment on the good health and habits of many that were ultimately impacted by a devastating disease in their twilight years.  We all have stories of friends, relatives and neighbors and realize that this is a very challenging financial puzzle. For those that believe that they can still rely on simply spending down their assets and hope the fates and Medicaid will take care of final days, this topic should be of great interest.   The cure per these articles is never simple and you can consider one of these situations with funding for care:
 
  1. Some of us will fund with savings, investment accounts, life insurance and real estate equity.
  2. We will spend from our assets but slip away with less for heirs.
  3. Some will be struck down but only linger for a few years; possibly never claiming on any long term care policy nor significantly impacting your wealth for your heirs.
  4. Some will claim on policies and collect for many years.
  5. Some will struggle with claiming on policies as there are differences in claiming and have challenges in collection.
  6. Some will rely on family to chip into the spending needs.
  7. Some will spend down to minimal assets and enroll in Medicaid for long term care costs.
 
We see each of these and reflect that in the case of 1, 2, and 3 – it is challenging but the outcomes are generally acceptable for most. For cases 4, 5, 6. – note that 2/3 of Minnesota’s Medicaid spending is in the category of long term care needs (in-home health care, nursing home or Home and Community-based services) with the average per state at 55% in 2014– these are not easy solutions. Consider that this will likely grow with non financially prepared baby boomers (now the oldest of which is 70). Also note that with the opioid and mental crisis in this country – this program provides funding to aged, handicapped and mental health patients with little financial resources. We need fiscal responsibility but we also need to be very careful about what and who is impacted by changes in Medicaid – note item no. 5 as it may not be you.

Bottom line – review your plans – consider the 6 cases above.   This is an area that requires your attention if you plan on growing old that is! 
 

Plan on Growing Old? Then the Medicaid Debate Affects You.

Plan on Growing Old? Then the Medicaid Debate Affects You

 
How the Medicaid Debate Affects Long-Term Care Insurance Decisions

Big cuts to Medicaid are still in the Senate’s health insurance bill. How might you pay for your care in old age if the government can’t or won’t?


How the Medicaid Debate Affects Long-Term Care Insurance Decisions



 

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