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Is Michigan facing a long-term care crisis?

Previous posts have encouraged Michigan residents to account for long-term care when developing an estate plan. It is often one of the most overlooked aspects of future-needs planning. Arranging for long-term care often includes scheduling affairs to ensure elder years are comfortable and that assets are maintained to pass down to designated beneficiaries.

It appears the U.S. government has started to take notice of the increasingly significant problem that financing long-term care has become. One senator recently stated that the situation is "heading for a national crisis" unless it is addressed. A particular concern is the financial viability of long-term care for everyone who will need it.

The senator's comments were made in the context of a hearing by the Senate Aging Committee. One of the chief topics of discussion was enrollment in a federal long-term care insurance program, an idea that continues to arise within the broader discussion of health care in America.

Proponents of this government-backed insurance assert that it will make paying for medical expenses a more economically reasonable proposition, thereby increasing participation in long-term care planning and taking a great deal of pressure off of Medicaid.

Some proponents also suggest that long-term care insurance can, and should, be included by employers in the benefits packages they offer to employees. According to some, to solve the long-term care problem, both public insurance and private insurance must be made more available to the growing elder population.

Regardless of how it is accomplished, long-term care financing is going to continue to be a hot topic for political debate. It is an issue that is likely to gain attention in the coming years, as the average age of the nation's population average continues to increase.

Michigan residents who are thinking of crafting an estate plan should seek to include long-term care options for a comprehensive approach.

Source: Forbes, "Sen. Corker: Long-Term Care is 'Heading for a National Crisis,'" Howard Gleckman, April 18, 2012

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