Medicare does pick up some home care costs; best bet is a long-term care policy.

To start, a care plan must be signed off on by a doctor, and the home health agency you’ve selected must be Medicare-credited. In addition, the doctor must certify that you or your loved one is “homebound.”

If you work for a large corporation, chances are the health care part of your retirement package looks a heck-of-a-lot better than a lot of workers employed by a small to-medium size business. Those fortunate enough to have a health package may enjoy a range of bennies, from low medical premiums and extras like dental, hearing aids as well as coverage for eyewear.

To get an idea of just how those employer insurance programs or retiree insurance benefits have withstood the test of uncertain economic times, about 66 percent of retirees were receiving those nice health-care packages back in 1988, compared to only 25% today.

Medical costs will continue its upward trend in retirement.

It’s a depressing fact, but a gloomy forecast looms over the retiree’s Social Security income. In fact, such costs are sure to devour the “majority of retirees Social Security income.”

Are you 66 and planning to retire this year? You might be well served to either work longer or take a part-time job to help pay for health care costs. Surprisingly, notes a new report in the Wall Street Journal, those anticipated medical costs might very well eat up about 67% of a retiree’s benefit in those Golden Years.

If you’re ten years younger and looking to retire ten-years-from-now, count on your medical costs to take away about 90% of your Social Security income in your lifetime.

A simple reason…

Retirees on Social Security grapple with the ever-rising costs of Medicare premiums and skyrocketing medical costs, keeping them on a treadmill of never reaching parity with these costs. But it’s not surprising, given the fact that Social Security’s annual increases are averaging a meager 2%—that’s the current rate of inflation.

But according to Healthview founder, Ron Mastrogiovanni, medical costs are seeing increases from 5% to 7% annually. Unfortunately, those increases did not factor in that Elephant in the Room: long-term care.

Medicare will cover some home health services.

Family caregivers are not only providing for loved ones in time of need, but, ironically, their ‘service’ helps subsidize the Medicare system to the tune of $375 billion annually, according to an Indiana University report,

If you are over 50 years of age and care for a loved one, you are among the 10 million who do. Amazingly, this number has “tripled over the past 15 years,” as noted by a study that included the National Alliance for Caregiving.

“What can Medicare do for my loved one who needs home care?”

But the Medicare program does pick up the following home care costs, including, but not limited to…

— Intermittent skilled nursing care

— Physical therapy, including speech-language pathology services.

— Continued occupational services

Medicare does not pay for…

— 24-hour care at home

— Meals delivered to the home

— On-site homemaker services

— Personal care

What you need for determination…

For starters, a care plan must be signed off on by a doctor, and the home health agency you’ve selected must be Medicare-credited. In addition, the doctor must certify that you or your loved one is “homebound.”

Home health services include other choices.

Depending on where you live, other services can provide for this care, such as medical social services, part-time/intermittent home health aide services. What’s more, the cost of in-home medical supplies and durable medical equipment (walker, wheelchair) and injectable osteoporosis drugs.

Proper estate planning with an experienced elder care attorney, like Christopher J. Berry, can help you better understand the importance of setting aside funds for a long-term care policy; establishing a trust to provide continuity of your assets; creating a power-of-attorney for use if you are incapable of making your own financial and health decisions.

Contact us to learn more.

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