How The GOP’s Health Plan Shifts The Burden To Family Caregivers
May 5, 2017
There are two words missing in the 100-plus pages of the American Health Care Act, which narrowly passed the House on Thursday: “family caregivers.”
Should it pass the Senate ― the ranks of the nation’s 43.5 million unpaid and untrained family members who sacrifice portions of their own lives and livelihoods to spare their loved ones being kicked to the curb would grow rapidly.
The Change to How States Handle Medicaid Benefits
In a nutshell, Medicaid ― not Medicare ― pays for nursing home stays. In order to qualify for Medicaid, the patient must spend down his or her assets to just this side of zero, and then contribute whatever income they have, like Social Security, to the nursing home for payment.
Under Obamacare, everyone who was eligible and qualified for Medicaid ― senior, adult or kid ― was guaranteed by the federal government to get it. Under Trumpcare, states would decide who gets their health care needs met by Medicaid, and the total pot would shrink by $880 billion by 2026. More older people who can’t afford assisted living or nursing homes would have to turn to their families for help.
As I have discussed before, most caregivers today are walking on thin ice without so much as legal protection from getting fired if they miss too much work. They juggle families, full-time jobs, and caregiving tasks that include dealing with doctors and insurance, managing medications, bathing, feeding, dressing, etc.
When caregiving becomes overwhelming, the family caregiver often starts to miss time at work or switches to part-time hours ― or quits altogether. They can also be easily fired for taking time off to get Mom to the doctor’s. Caregivers tend to ignore their own health because they are too busy caring for a loved one. Dementia caregivers seem to suffer the most.
What Does This Mean For YOU?
You can expect your loved ones will have to take care of you at home and probably will go broke in the process.
Plan ahead now while you are young and healthy! For a 45 year old healthy male, a $250,000 Universal Life policy with a long term care rider would cost approximately $200 per month. You can have peace of mind that your family will not have the financial burden to care for you in the future.