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The Politics of Health Care

Prepare for Long-Term Care Expenses

Published July 23, 2013 1:07 PM by Michael LaMagna
The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just printed a report suggesting that many families are going broke paying for long term care costs. The CBO reported that in 2011, approximately $36 billion was spent on LTC facilities and $3 billion was spent on in home services, some of which is being used inappropriately because of the lack of LTC knowledge and the underutilization of professionals to assist with proper care.

Not to be an alarmist, but LTC is the looming healthcare crisis of our generation. With more than one-third of adults over 65 requiring some sort of assistance with their activities of daily living, someone needs to be compensating for those needs. Of course there is no point in sounding the alarm without making suggestions as to how to alleviate some of the high costs:

  • A) Plan Ahead

If you are eligible for long-term care insurance, you should actively look into this form of insurance, which would allow you to make choices as to who provides care and where.

  • B) Hire a Financial Advisor

A qualified financial planner will assist you to organize your finances in such a way as to maximize your income, which will enable you to extend the time frames to pay for LTC.

  • C) Hire Competent Caregivers and Care Managers

By hiring competent caregivers, you minimize your chances of going into a facility. There may even be ways that family members can be "hired" utilizing a personal services contract to compensate them for caring for you as you age and your needs increase. Care managers can assist with the selection of qualified caregivers and can monitor the situation to ensure that you are kept safe and in the correct level of care.

  • D) Look Into Tax Breaks

Some healthcare expenses qualify for a medical expense reduction from federal income taxes. A qualified tax accountant can assist you to assess what is and what is not deductible.

  • E) Hire an Elder Lawyer

A lawyer who is knowledgeable in senior, long-term care and disability matters is able to steer you in the right direction by making suggestions about advance directives, financial and legal matters. They also can act as the quarterback to ensure that the plan put into place is individualized and optimal for your overall long term care success.

This article is provided for informational purposes only. Nothing in this article shall be construed as legal advice or should be relied upon as such. Plan to attend Attorney LaMagna's free seminar, "Talking Dollars and Sense," at the Kensington Assisted Living, White Plains, NY on May 16, 2013 from 6:00-7:30pm. RSVP by calling The Kensington at 914-220-4259. Michael LaMagna is a Partner at LaMagna & Associates, PC, practicing Elder Law/Probate/Disability/Wills, Trusts and Estates, Health Care Regulatory, Medicare Appeals, Social Security and General Legal practice in both New York and Connecticut. Email him at Mlamagna@nyandctlaw.com, call him at 914-437-5955 or visit Attorney LaMagna's website at www.nyandctlaw.com for more information.

posted by Michael LaMagna


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Long Term Care Insurance is an affordable way to plan for the physical, emotional and financial burdens Long term Care places on family and friends. Since most insurance agents and financial advisors have little experience in this area you should consult a specialist who works with the companies. They can design an affordable plan which fits your retirement plans, addresses your concerns and fits your budget.

There are some outstanding online resources to start the learning process, www.completelongtermcare.com and www.infoltc.org.    

Matt McCann July 24, 2013 8:08 AM

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