I really feel like the government is continuing to fail our seniors, particularly when it comes to health care. There was an article in the Pittsburgh Post Gazette written by Chris, about the Independence Health System. Combining 5 community hospitals and over 100 outpatient centres, the Independence Health System serves ten counties including Butler County and Westmoreland County. This article points out that this system has had some significant financial losses, specifically the Butler Memorial Hospital. While it is not intending to close, the Butler Memorial Hospital has lost a lot of money in the last two years. The Hospital is trying to find its way to some degree of profitability and we certainly hope this is possible.
Hospitals are Not Reimbursed Adequately
One of the challenges is that many of its patients are on Medicare benefits, and Medicare does not adequately reimburse the hospital, unlike a private insurance company. Medicare is a government agency, and they seem to be arguing with health care providers over reimbursement rates. As it happens, Medicare dictates what goes on in our health care industry, because without Medicare and Medicaid Services, none of the health care systems in this country would survive. Medicare sets the rules, and to some extent Medicare also sets the payment terms. Medicare’s low reimbursement rate to the hospitals is one of the reasons these hospitals are having financial difficulties.
We don’t want our hospital in Butler to close, especially since it serves a large population of seniors who receive Medicare benefits, and who would have to travel further to see a doctor. It is unfortunate that one organization owns every hospital, especially when they aren’t paying the hospital, which is struggling financially because all of their patients are on Medicare.
Health Care Workers are Hard to Find
Ever since COVID and probably even before 2020, it’s been incredibly difficult to find healthcare workers. This is because nurses and doctors’ jobs were challenging, attending to those with the covid virus. The healthcare workers were also dealing with folks who weren’t allowed to see their families. Many healthcare workers left their jobs, and subsequently, there has been a shortage of nurses. In addition, there are new laws stipulating that nursing homes require more nursing staff to be working. This is problematic because when the care providers find nursing staff, they have to pay increased wages. This means the cost of care in nursing homes will increase, which is further compounded by Medicare not reimbursing enough.
You Can Avoid Going Broke
Medicare is the biggest liability, because we’re told that for 65 years we must pay into the system. Most people work until the age of 65 to know they will have health coverage after age 65. However, Medicare doesn’t pay enough for hospitalizations, and they pay nothing for long term care. The only entity that pays for the nursing home is Medicaid. However, Medicaid is a means tested program. To be eligible for Medicaid benefits, you have to go broke first. If you’re a middle class person, you’re going to be paying $180,000 a year to be in a nursing home. I can understand why people are getting increasingly worried about getting the care they need, without going broke. The good news is that we can help you!
We Can Help You To Protect Assets
I recommend that my clients put some assets into an asset protection trust to protect their assets from long term care expenses, so they don’t have to go broke. Come to one of our upcoming “Three Secrets to Protect Your Legacy” Workshop, where we’ll teach you about asset protection. My vision of estate planning is not just planning for who receives an inheritance when you pass away. I think it’s really important that we also make sure that we plan to have a healthy and happy retirement. We also need to make provision for needing long term care if we get sick in our senior years.
Learn More At Our Three Secrets Workshop
While estate planning is be considered transactional law in some firms, I don’t see it that way. I want to have a relationship with my clients and to keep them updated on changes in the law. We also want to assist them to create a plan to mitigate these harsh rules. Register on our website: sechlerlawfirm.com/workshops to attend one of our Three Secrets Workshops. We will teach you all about wills and trusts, and how to protect your assets. Once you have created your plan, you can also be part of our Red Wagon Club Membership where we can enjoy a long term relationship. This membership also includes so many benefits and we also have fun at our social events together. You will learn more about this membership opportunity at our Three Secrets Workshop. See you there!