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NBC33 Consumer Alert: Expert says people should apply for long-term care

Friday, August 13, 2010 - 4:15pm

Medicaid cuts are affecting people all over the state, but one expert says a lot of of folks shouldn't have to rely on its services. In the next several years, 77 million elderly people will be living in America. That will make up about 30% of the population, the largest ever.

"We don't have enough people in the workforce to pay for the medicare and social security needs of these elderly people," says Joe Donchess, executive director for the Louisiana Nursing Home Association.

There are programs people can use that will keep them from relying heavily on Medicaid. Long-term care could be the answer. Recently, federal and state programs have been created to help people interested in applying for long-term care programs.

The long-term care insurance program provides an approved insurance policy that covers up to three-years of long term care. Then, if you outlive the policy, Medicaid will step in and take the rest of the coverage.

The C.L.A.S.S Act, which is a state program, allows people to pay for long-term care out of their paychecks. The cost could be anywhere from $50 to $150 for every paycheck, one of the reasons why many people are hesitant to use it.

"They'd rather live in the moment than worry about long-term care now," says Donchess.

While the cost is a little pricey, in the long run, Donchess says it's worth it. It saves the state money and protects elderly people from facing Medicaid cuts that could impact the way they live their lives.

Check out these websites for more on how to get long-term care

www.ldi.state.la.us or call 1-800-259-5300

Office of the Governor: www.gov.louisiana.gov

Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals: www.dhh.louisiana.gov

Louisiana Medicaid: 1-888-342-6207 (email: medweb@la.gov)

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