Long-Term Health Care Costs Getting Bigger Deep in the Heart of Texas
The stars may be big and bright deep in the heart of Texas, but so are long-term health care costs. Increasing demand in Texas will mean higher costs in the years ahead.
In Texas, everything seems bigger. For example, in the 2020 United States census, Texas had a resident population of 29,145,505, a 15.9% increase since the 2010 U.S. census.
That is a lot of people. Texas has the second biggest population in the United States (behind California), and in terms of land area, it is second only to Alaska.
The Texas Department of Health and Human Services says about 12% of Texas residents are aged 65 and older. This group represents over 3.2 million people and is rapidly growing. By 2050 the population aged 65 and older is expected to increase 20%. There is also a growing population of adults aged 40 and older.
Greater Pressure on LTC System in Decades Ahead
With an aging population, the demand for long-term care services will put more significant pressure on the care system in Texas.
"The demand for senior care is quickly rising in Texas, and the labor supply is tightening as we continue to recruit highly skilled and compassionate caregivers," said Eric vanGoethem, who with his wife Sabrina operates the Amada Senior Care franchise in Dallas.
Texas has long been noted for more affordable long-term health care services, but this greater demand will increase these costs in the years ahead.
Bigger Costs Have Tremendous Financial Impact
The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator indicates that by the year 2045, the state average cost of in-home care in Texas (based on a 44-hour week) is expected to cost over $100,000 a year.
See the calculator here - Texas Long-Term Care | LTC News
The average base cost of assisted living will also be just over $100,000 a year in 2045; however, surcharges depending on the number of services a person requires increase.
Most long-term care services are delivered at home or in assisted living facilities. However, nursing homes and memory care facilities still play a vital role in long-term health care and those costs are substantially more.
In the year 2045, an average nursing home is expected to cost over $174,000 a year. Talk about hitting your budget!
Long-Term Care Affects Families and Finances
"Due to the rapidly increasing cost of care and a shrinking supply of caregivers based on demand, we are seeing more family members having to assume the caregiver role," said John Paschal. He operates Amada Senior Care in San Antonio.
Paschal sees the stress and anxiety placed on Texas families when a loved one needs long-term care services. People require extended health care due to an illness, accident, or the consequences of longevity. Some people are unaware that health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, pays little or nothing toward long-term care.
Many families think about long-term care planning for the first time when a crisis happens with a loved one, often a parent.
"The impact of caring for a loved one can be exhausting, not to mention leading to health issues and relationship concerns. It is key that they are aware of their own personal well-being and seek out help in terms of support as well as professional respite help," Paschal explained.
Current Cost of Care in Texas is Expensive
As costs for long-term care services do increase every year, they are not cheap today. Plus, charges vary depending on where a person lives. You see a variation in costs throughout Texas.
For example, in San Antonio, in-home care (based on a 44-hour week) averages just over $48,000 a year on average. If you live in Beaumont, you see the average cost running about $41,000 for the same amount of care. The same amount of care in Laredo, Texas, is even more affordable, by comparison, with today's average running just under $36,000 a year.
According to the LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator, Texas's most expensive home health care is in Austin and Odessa, Texas. In both metro areas, the average cost is over $50,000 a year.
Assisted living and nursing home costs are also increasing in cost. The average costs of a nursing home in Texas is running over $83,000 and the base cost of an assisted living facility averages over $48,000 a year. Like in-home care, cost will depend on location and types of required services.
The calculator shows you the current and future costs of all types of long-term care services in all 50 states and the District of Columbia - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
The need for a funding source for the future costs and burdens of aging and changing health is even more crucial with the rapidly higher costs for these services in the decades ahead.
Nationwide you see more demand for care due to increasing longevity and advances in medical science. However, advances in medical science and greater lifespans create a double-edged sword - an ever-increasing need for long-term care services and supervision and care for those with dementia.
LTC Insurance Places Policyholders and Families in Better Position
Amada's vanGoethem notes that families with Long-Term Care Insurance are in a better position to access their choice of quality care options.
"With the cost of care is rising, our clients with Long-Term Care Insurance plans are often better positioned to age in place in the way that they want," he said.
When insurance is not available to fund long-term health care, families will depend on loved ones to be caregivers or use their own income and assets to pay for services. Neither option is ideal.
Texas is one of 45 states that participate in the Long-Term Care Partnership Program. If you own a Partnership LTC policy you have additional dollar-for-dollar asset protection. You can shelter assets and still qualify for Medicaid if you exhaust all the money in the policy. Even a small policy can provide powerful asset protection - Retirement Planning Secret - Partnership LTC Plans Shelter Assets | LTC News
Long-Term Care Insurance is custom designed and is affordable for most people. For people with little or no assets Medicaid will provide benefits.
Best Time to Plan is Before Retirement
Most experts suggest planning in your 40s or 50s before retirement. LTC Insurance is medically underwritten, so you should have reasonably good health to obtain coverage. The rules with every insurance company differ, so speak with a licensed and experienced Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to assist you in your shopping. Premiums also vary over 100% between insurance companies - Work With a Specialist | LTC News
Get Help with Finding Care and Processing LTC Insurance Claim
If you have a family member who needs care, there is help available. LTC NEWS offers help with finding care and even with help getting a Long-Term Care Insurance claim processed correctly.
Working with Amada Senior Care, one of the nation's most respected home health agencies, they will provide free - no-obligation help processing a claim, care coordination, and more.
Navigating the claims process can be a daunting task. Their professional staff work with the insurance company and get your claim approved and benefits flowing no matter who you may be using for care. Of course, they can provide outstanding in-home care services.
If you just need help find appropriate care and don't have a policy, they will assist you as well - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News
Aging is part of being human. Being prepared will provide you with less stress and peace of mind. Your loved ones will enjoy having the time to be family instead of being a caregiver.
Whether you live in Texas or anywhere in the United States, you can obtain quality care and asset protection. But don't wait until it becomes a crisis.
About the Author
Linda is a freelance writer interested in retirement planning, health and aging.
Contributor since October 31st, 2017
Many people assume Long-Term Care Insurance is either not necessary or too expensive. Don't assume!
Long-Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to safeguard income and assets from the high costs of extended health care services. About half of us will need care, and that percentage increases as we get older.
Your health insurance, including Medicare and supplements, will not help as they pay little or nothing toward this type of care. Medicaid will pay for care but only if you have little or no income and assets.
The time to purchase LTC Insurance is when you are younger and healthier. Ideally, in your 40s or 50s.
Planning Tools and Resources on LTC NEWS
You can find many tools and resources on LTC NEWS to assist you in your research for a planning solution or help your family find the appropriate care for a loved one at the time of crisis.
To help you plan the costs and burdens of changing health and aging, LTC NEWS has put in place several resources, including:
- The LTC NEWS Cost of Care Calculator will show you the current and future cost of long-term health care services where you live. Plus, each state has vital state-specific information you should know - Cost of Care Calculator - Choose Your State | LTC News
- The Ultimate Long-Term Care Guide is an outstanding read to help you get a good overview of the topic area.
- Compare the major insurance companies that offer Long-Term Care Insurance products here - Top Insurers for Long-Term Care Insurance | LTC News.
- A detailed tax guide that includes available tax incentives can be found by reviewing the Long-Term Care Tax Benefits Guide.
Find all the resources on LTC NEWS - Resources for Long-Term Care Planning | LTC News.
Seek Professional Guidance
Insurance rates are regulated, so no insurance agent, agency, or financial advisor can give you special deals. However, insurance companies' premiums vary over 100% for the same coverage.
Experts suggest using a qualified Long-Term Care Insurance specialist to help you navigate the many options available to you and your family.
A specialist who works with the top companies can match your age, health, family history, and other factors and find you the best coverage at the best value. A specialist will save you money, and you will have peace of mind knowing they are making the appropriate recommendations - Work With a Specialist | LTC News.
Finding Quality Care for Mom or Dad
Start by reading our four guides -
- Finding Quality In-Home Care | LTC News
- Adult Day Care Centers (ADCCs) | LTC News
- Finding a Quality Nursing Home | LTC News
- Assisted Living and Memory Care Facilities | LTC News
If they are lucky enough to own a Long-Term Care Insurance policy, be sure they use it. Sometimes families wait, thinking they can save the benefits for a rainy day. Waiting on using available Long-Term Care Insurance benefits is not a wise idea.
Get Help in Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim
Quality care obtained early will help provide a better quality of life and reduce the risk of a deep decline and facility care. If you need help in starting the process of a Long-Term Care Insurance claim, LTC NEWS can help.
LTC NEWS provides free assistance with no obligation to help you or a loved one complete the claims process with a Long-Term Care Insurance policy. We have teamed up with Amada Senior Care, who will do all the work, free with no obligation.
You can also get support in finding quality caregivers and get recommendations for a proper care plan, whether a person has a policy or not. - Filing a Long-Term Care Insurance Claim | LTC News.
Benefits of Reverse Mortgages
Today's reverse mortgages for those aged 62 and older could be an ideal resource to fund a Long-Term Care Insurance policy OR even provide money to pay for care if you, or a loved one, already needs help and assistance.
Some people have much of their savings invested in their homes. With today's reverse mortgages, you can find ways to fund care solutions, care itself, even help with cash flow during your retirement.
Learn more by asking questions to an expert. LTC NEWS columnist and host of the TV Show "62 Who Knew" will answer your questions regarding caregiving, aging, health, retirement planning, long-term care, and reverse mortgages.
- Just "Ask Mike." - Reverse Mortgages | LTC News.
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You can write a story or ongoing column for LTC NEWS. You can write about many topics, including aging, caregiving, health, lifestyle, retirement planning, and long-term care, to name a few.
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