Yet perhaps precisely because of that last concern a lot of people are confused about what long term care is, how it is paid for and who will need it. And new research has found that most Americans (two-thirds) have done little planning for long term care often because they are under the mistaken belief that Medicare pays for long term care. Yet 70 percent of Americans will need long term care at some point in their lives. Medicare does pay for some skilled nursing care but the rules for when a patient meets the qualifications for that care are narrow and very strict. There are government programs that will pay for long term care and we talk about them on this site and in our weekly radio show on a nearly weekly basis but those programs are based on need and without proper planning require you to spend down your assets until they are basically gone and leave nearly nothing for the niceties of life such as a daily bath or other things we take for granted.
Here is a list from the Huffington Post on “11 Myths About Long Term Care.”
The long and short of it is that you will need long term care planning regardless of whether or not you plan for it. The difference between those planning and those who do not is that those who do not will be in a crisis situation rather than responding to something they have had the time and resources to prepare for and that is really the difference between having control or being controlled. Which one will you be?