As states all across this country prepare budgets for 2009, one thing is clear: revenues are down, but the need to spend is never down. Every state is facing a fiscal crisis unlike anything in the past. California, Nevada, New York, Rhode Island, South Carolina and Utah are all looking at freezing or even reducing the numbers of people on Medicaid in their states. Some states will start making it even more difficult to qualify and then remain Medicaid eligible. Requirements to reapply twice a year and lowering of income/asset ceilings will remove thousands of people from Medicaid programs across the country. These actions are being pushed into motion as a direct response to the budget crisis in every state.
There is less money to pay for Medicaid and more people trying to get on the program. Medicaid is the single biggest payor of long term care expenses and hundreds of thousands of seniors rely on the program to pay for the costs of living in a nursing home. What will happen when states are looking for ways to save billions of dollars? They will push more responsibility back on the individual. This shift has been taking place now for some time, but the impact of the economic crisis and the reality of the surge of Baby Boomers entering their senior years looking for Medicaid to cover their long term care needs is going to accelerate this issue.
People need to educate themselves about what Medicaid and Medicare will, and will not cover. And in light of the this situation; what are other private funding options to consider? It would be very unwise in today’s environment to ignore all of the signs pointing towards what the future of senior housing and long term care will look like, and not know the answer to that question.
To read more about the growing Medicaid crisis, click here.