Study: Medi-Cal Long-Term Care Spending To Double by 2023

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Medi-Cal spending on long-term care services is expected to nearly double in the next decade, from $6.6 billion this year to $12.4 billion annually by 2023, according to a UC-Berkeley study, the Sacramento Business Journal reports.

Medi-Cal is California's Medicaid program.

Details of Study

The study estimated that there will be an 88% increase in government spending for institutional long-term care services over the next 10 years (Robertson, Sacramento Business Journal, 11/25).

William Dow of UC-Berkeley's Division of Health Policy and Management said the number of seniors in California will increase by 44% -- from 4.8 million to 6.9 million -- by 2023. Dow said the uptick is a "long-anticipated increase."

Brenda Bufford -- head of California's Partnership for Long-Term Care, which funded the study -- said that 70% of seniors will need long-term care over the next decade.

Effect on Family Caregivers

Meanwhile, nearly 90% of long-term care is provided by family caregivers who often report "higher levels of mental and physical health problems and are generally uncompensated for their services," according to a Department of Health Care Services release (DHCS release, 11/21).

Bufford said, "The burdens on family caregivers are enormous" (Sacramento Business Journal, 11/25).

Recommendations

The study authors recommend that California residents "strongly consider planning ahead to ensure they live their later years with quality and dignity."

According to the authors, the "first step" in planning is having a conversation with loved ones "to develop a long-term care plan" (DHCS release, 11/21).

Jonathan Savell
I wonder what percentage of MediCal, supplemental housing allowances and long term care expenditures are for foreigners, non-citizens, who have never put a dime into our system. I have seen people who arrive in this country and within one month are on free Medicare, MediCal and supplemental social security. I think they visit the country yearly and claim they are US residents, and then when they permanently move here have the five years of residency needed to get the whole welfare package. We don't have the resources to take care of our own citizens, and should look at restricting eligibility for these programs.
Jonathan Savell
I wonder what percentage of MediCal, supplemental housing allowances and long term care expenditures are for foreigners, non-citizens, who have never put a dime into our system. I have seen people who arrive in this country and within one month are on free Medicare, MediCal and supplemental social security. I think they visit the country yearly and claim they are US residents, and then when they permanently move here have the five years of residency needed to get the whole welfare package. We don't have the resources to take care of our own citizens, and should look at restricting eligibility for these programs.
Barbara Hanson
For a full explanation of what the future may hold specifically for CA and Medi-Cal, check out this report on the current situation and possible future at: http://www.centerltc.com/pubs/Medi-Cal_LTC--Saf... There are solutions available, but legislative work needs to be done to effect a better future funding long-term care in CA.
Barbara Hanson
10,000 boomers a day are turning 68 next year. We knew this was coming. The planning conversation can begin at http://www.rureadyca.org, sponsored by the CA Partnership for long-term care. Www.longtermcare.gov is also informative. The problem is nobody wants to think-about-it until it happens, then they fall in to crisis mode, leaning on family and/or exhausting their savings to pay for the care 70% will need. Worse, a huge number will go to the local elder law attorney and "re-arrange" their assets in order to let MediCal pick up the tab, giving their assets to their family. We do not do this to pay for our house burning down or a car crash. We buy insurance for big expenses that have some possibility of happening. I would say 70% is a probability that has to be addressed by all. Www.centerltc.com has ideas to save the MediCal system from MediCal planning. Having the funds to pay for care in the setting of your choice is the best gift you can give yourself and your family.

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