We, the American People, are facing a national crisis… the need and cost of financing long-term care. And nothing is being done about it!
There will be 8 million American citizens who are 85 years old in the year 2030 who will be unable to care for themselves. Regrettably, there will not be enough long-term care facilities to provide their care. Unfortunately, America’s senior population is in great danger.
We’ve all heard of the “graying” of America… the dramatic growth of the number of people over age 65. With modern medical technology’s advancements over the last few decades, eight out of 10 of us will live to their mid-60s and beyond. This senior explosion will result in the number of those age 65+ doubling in the next 50 years, while the number of Americans over age 85 triples! Unfortunately, advancing age automatically results in the escalating need for more significant serious health conditions and ongoing healthcare services.
The Class Act (Gone missing)
The federal government made an attempt to adopt legislation intended to positively impact the problem of inadequate long-term care services in the United States.
Former President Barack Obama signed into law comprehensive healthcare reform legislation that contained a program known as the CLASS Act (Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act) which was then repealed, quietly. Many of the details regarding the CLASS Act were never defined and would have had to be developed through future Government regulation by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. Simply stated, my interpretation of the CLASS Act is there would have been a voluntary long-term care program under which individuals pay a monthly premium and would have been eligible for modest benefits to satisfy their long-term care needs after five years of paying premiums. While CLASS was characterized as a long-term care program, it appeared to be primarily designed as a program to provide future assistance to the working disabled.
Traditional long-term care insurance requires that applicants meet certain good-health requirements. CLASS would not have health qualification requirements as the plan would have been available on a guaranteed-issue basis. Industry experts know that any voluntary insurance program that is “guaranteed issue” (no medical underwriting) is guaranteed to appeal to individuals with significant medical problems that are guaranteed to generate enormous loss ratios. With no future plans to account for “balancing the books”, the CLASS Act could potentially have negatively impacted the federal national debt. Thankfully, the Class Act program that in my opinion, was destined to fail, was abandoned.
The Senior Age “Explosion”
Today’s baby boomers start turning 85 in 2030, when it’s projected that 8 million people over age 85 will be unable to care for themselves. Those boomers must have qualified, licensed caregivers monitoring their care. According to a recent national nursing home survey, there were 1.4 million residents’ ages 65+ in nursing homes. At the same time, many states were reporting a reduction in the number of nursing homes. If the nation’s nursing homes are today reportedly understaffed, where will we put 8 million people in 2030? There is no place for these people to go!