How Will Further Cuts to Medicaid and the End of Obamacare Impact Millions of Families Dealing with Alzheimer’s?

Cindy Hadish took a comprehensive look at several families who are struggling to care for loved ones who have Alzheimer’s in a recent article published by Huffington Post. Many of these families cared for their loved ones at home as long as they could manage to do so. Memory care, assisted care, and nursing home care were the last resorts for these families. Without the help from Medicaid to pay for these services, many families will have no options. The thought of not being able to provide care for their loved ones with Alzheimer’s is a concern for millions of families across America.

Nursing Home Care Is Usually the Last Resort

It is extremely expensive to pay for nursing home care, assisted living care, or at-home health care. Hadish tells the story of one gentleman whose wife has been in a nursing home almost 14 years after being diagnosed with the disease 25 years ago.

Up until two years ago, the nursing home cost was paid from money the couple had in savings. However, now that the couple’s savings are depleted, Medicaid pays for the nursing home care. If Medicaid is cut, what will happen to this family and the millions of other families in this country that need assistance to take care of their loved ones diagnosed with Alzheimer’s?

The author tells the stories of other families who are struggling with how to care for their loved ones at home. One woman never guessed she would be caring for her mother at such an early age — her mother was diagnosed with early-onset Alzheimer’s at age 59. While she cared for her mother at home as long as possible, it became necessary to move her mother to a facility when her mother could no longer remember how to perform basic daily skills. Even though it was a tough decision

It is estimated that 15 percent of caregivers have to leave their jobs to provide 24/7 care for their loved ones. One woman featured in the story tried to continue to operate a tax firm she owned but had to give that up to care for her husband who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2010.

The stories are similar and heartbreaking. Family members must make impossible and overwhelming decisions as they transition from being part-time caregivers to full-time caregivers as the disease progresses. Many families are able to pay for assisted at-home care; however, this can be expensive and may not be covered by health insurance. As their loved one needs more skilled care, a nursing home becomes the only option. Without the assistance of Medicaid, these families would have no way to get the help their loved ones desperately need.

A Growing Need Meets Decreased Funds

The fear for many is that with the repeal of Obamacare, Medicaid funds will be drastically cut reducing the money to care for Alzheimer’s patients. It is appalling that families who are dealing with such a tragic and terrifying disease like Alzheimer’s must fear that they will have no help and no resources when they need assistance the most.

If Obamacare is repealed and replaced by a Republican healthcare program, Medicaid expansion ends and the money states can receive for Medicaid funding will be capped. At this time, states receive money based on the number of individuals in the state that are enrolled in the system.

Under the new healthcare program, states will receive a fixed amount. Therefore, states that do not have ample state funds to cover Medicaid costs and states with higher numbers of individuals who require Medicaid could suffer drastic cuts in Medicaid spending. For individuals with Alzheimer’s, other disabilities, or low income, the cuts in Medicaid could be life-threatening.

Instead of taking steps to ensure that Americans diagnosed with Alzheimer’s will have the resources and healthcare they need, some lawmakers are attempting to gut the Medicaid system to make it impossible for states to pay for the growing number of Alzheimer’s patients expected within the next decade.

According to estimates from the Alzheimer’s Association, the number of people diagnosed with the disease is expected to grow at an alarming rate over the next decade. Michigan had 180,000 cases of Alzheimer’s in 2015. However, that number is expected to grow to 220,000 by 2015.

As the number of patients grows, the question of Medicaid funding becomes an increasingly important subject for families who have a loved one suffering from the disease. However, it is also a subject that all families should be concerned with because the possibility that a family may be dealing with this situation in the future seems to be growing each year.

Estate Planning and Medicaid Planning Lawyers in Michigan

The Elder Care Firm of Christopher J. Berry, CELA helps families plan for their future. None of us want to consider being unable to care for ourselves because the possibility is terrifying. However, taking steps now to plan for whatever may happen in the future helps ease the burden placed on families and protect the assets we have worked hard during our lives to accumulate for our families.

Our Michigan estate planning attorneys offer a wide variety of services that can help you protect yourself, your family, and your assets. From estate planning and retirement planning services to Medicaid planning and Veterans’ services, we assist individuals and families utilize the laws and resources available to develop a comprehensive plan that provides as much protection as possible for a variety of situations related to end-of-life decisions and incapacitation issue.

We may not know what will happen regarding healthcare and Medicaid, but we do know that the best way to protect yourself and your family is to have an estate and retirement plan that utilizes all resources and assets in the best possible manner. Let our Michigan Medicaid planning attorneys help you accomplish this goal.

To schedule an appointment, call 888-390-4360 or use the contact form on our website.

Source: Alzheimer’s Tsunami’ Alongside Medicaid Cuts Leaves Dementia Patients With Vanishing Options.” Cindy Hadish. Huffington Post. October 9, 2017.

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