Failure to account for the cost of nursing facility care is the main cause of impoverishment among the elderly. An American Health Care Association report recently reported that the average American man is expected to spend $56,895 in long-term care expenses. The average long term care cost for American women is $124,370. Private health insurance generally does not cover extend stays at nursing facilities. Therefore, even for people with means, an admission to a nursing home or skilled care facility means a rapid drain of personal funds.
Most residents at nursing homes are forced to rely on Medicaid because of a staggering drain on personal funds. Unfortunately, people who rely exclusively on Medicaid have a limited number of facilities available to them. Often, facilities which rely exclusively on Medicaid for funding are inferior to those who are predominately privately funded.
What is the consequence of all these financial problems with long term care for the elderly? I came across this article describing how the financial crisis trickles down to home how doctors and other medical professional make career choices. Not surprisingly, the current financial shortfalls involving nursing homes and long term care are discouraging many skilled medical professionals from treating the people who desperately need them.