Increase in Government Options
With Medicare and Medicaid explicitly stating who's eligible for coverage, some individuals planning on receiving financial assistance for long-term care will be surprised to find no aid available when they need it -- at least until they empty their bank accounts.
Since both programs only provide coverage in special circumstances, the government has created a few programs for older retirees and aging boomers. For example, the Federal Long-Term Care Insurance Program offers federal employees long-term care insurance at a group rate [source: Medicare.gov]. So far, the Older Americans Act also has taken steps toward meeting the future needs of baby boomers [source: U.S. Administration on Aging].
Also, the Community Living Assistance Services and Supports Act (the CLASS Act), set to begin in 2012, is a voluntary government option to fund long-term care insurance [sources: WhiteHouse.gov; Gleckman]. The national program will be the first of its kind to fund long-term care voluntarily. However, experts don't know if it will avoid the same high premiums put forth by private insurance companies (to support an increasing number of disabled people) [source: Gleckman].
To help residents of assisted living facilities and nursing homes, the Administration on Aging has established long-term health care ombudsmen who can offer advice and resources needed to maintain high-quality care [source: National Long-Term Care Ombudsman Resource Center].
How are baby boomers expanding their options for long-term care? That's next.