AARP Report Highlights Need for Innovative Long-Term Care for the Aging Baby Boomer Population; Japan’s Technological Secrets May Hold the Answers
A newly published AARP report illustrates a profound demographic shift that will have consequences for decades to come, particularly in the senior living and long-term care industry. Baby boomers are entering their retirement years, while the ratio of potential family caregivers to those who require long-term services and support is beginning to drop. Fewer available caregivers will mean the senior living industry must rapidly adapt to a surging market. The AARP’s full report is available here: http://bit.ly/156phYi
Family caregiving is a low-cost but often burdensome approach to elder care. Becoming a primary caregiver often involves leaving behind a career, among other sacrifices. Plus, these well-intentioned caregivers may not have the expertise necessary to provide the level of care needed by an aged parent. Adults in these roles often feel enormous pressure and stress, sometimes even resentment. At any rate, the nation’s changing demographics will make today’s family caregiving situation far different in the near future.
Between 1990 and 2010, there were about 7 potential caregivers for every one person aged 80-plus. That ratio is at the start of a freefall that will force society to change the way it cares for its elderly members. By 2030, the ratio of caregivers to elderly will be 4 to 1. All remaining baby boomers will have reached their years of highest risk (80+) by 2050, when the caregiver ratio will have plummeted still further to 3 to 1.
Kevin Williams, president of SeniorMarketing.com, suggests innovative thinking will be required to bridge this care gap: “Naturally, with fewer family caregivers available, the responsibility will largely shift to senior living communities, care agencies and already overextended government programs. But it will take more than simply building more communities or training more staff—assuming an adequate number of candidates are even available. Technological innovation may be the silver bullet to raise the standard of living for aging boomers, improve efficiency, and reduce costs.”
The nation of Japan, which has the greatest life expectancy and one of the oldest average populations in the world, has recently experienced a demographic transition of its own. Recently, the Ministry of Health, Labor and Welfare put out a call for 2 million new professional caregivers, but only received 1.3 million eligible candidates. With low birth rates being the norm, that shortfall will only increase. A tech-savvy society to begin with, the Japanese have embraced robotics and automation as a solution to the elder care issue. Motorized, assistive devices can help older individuals perform tasks themselves, while automated pill dispensers can prevent dangerous medication mistakes. A recent blog post on The Economist explained Japan’s inventive approach to the elder care dilemma: http://www.economist.com/blogs/babbage/2013/05/automation-elderly
Williams concluded: “This demographic shift is a great challenge but also a great opportunity. Forward-thinking, entrepreneurs will be leading the way in this new environment. Technology to assist with daily tasks, provide medical care, monitor, and connect seniors to loved ones is advancing at a faster pace every year. It’s not unreasonable to predict that the future will witness even better care for our future seniors.”
Baltimore-based SeniorMarketing.com was created with twin goals in mind. First, the company helps connect caregivers and seniors with local, affordable care options. Second, the company increases income for senior living communities and health care agencies.
Kevin M. Williams, President
5024 Campbell Blvd., Suite D-3
Baltimore, MD 21236
Medicare Annual Open Enrollment Changes Are Expected, Allsup Explains
New Medicare plan options for 2014 will be available Oct. 15, but Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment could confuse beneficiaries
There are only a few weeks before the Medicare annual open enrollment period begins Oct. 15. This year’s Medicare season crosses calendars with the rollout of the Health Insurance Marketplace, so it’s important Medicare-eligible beneficiaries understand the differences between the two government programs, according to Allsup, a nationwide provider of Medicare plan selection services.
During the Medicare annual enrollment period, Oct. 15 to Dec. 7, all Medicare beneficiaries have the option to change their Medicare plans for the coming year to better match their needs. This includes anyone using original Medicare, Medicare Advantage or Part D prescription drug plans.
“Because the federal and state-run health insurance exchanges open for business just two weeks prior to Medicare enrollment, some people may be confused,” said Paula Muschler, manager of the Allsup Medicare Advisor®, a Medicare plan selection service offering personalized help that includes customized research and enrollment assistance.
“Medicare beneficiaries may falsely think they need to enroll in an exchange plan to avoid penalties. Or, they may be so flustered that they don’t carefully evaluate their Medicare plan options for 2014, which could be detrimental if their plan or their needs have changed,” Muschler said.
Another potential area of confusion is for those individuals turning 65 during Medicare annual enrollment. “Because some seniors become Medicare eligible during this time period, they need to look at their Medicare selections for coverage that takes them through year-end 2013, as well as coverage that will begin Jan. 1, 2014,” Muschler said. “These first-time enrollees can benefit from the help of a Medicare specialist like Allsup when it comes to navigating their Medicare plan decisions.”
What to Expect: Medicare Coverage 2014
Nearly 50 million people are enrolled in Medicare. Each year, annual open enrollment brings with it changes that can affect their Medicare plan selections.
Following are factors to keep in mind for 2014 coverage:
Medicare is not part of the Health Insurance Marketplace. Anyone with Medicare is considered covered and won’t face penalties for being uninsured under provisions of the Affordable Care Act (ACA). Medicare annual open enrollment runs Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. (Note: Health Insurance Marketplace enrollment is from Oct. 1, 2013, through March 31, 2014, according to the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services (HHS).)
Medicare recipients reaching the drug donut hole will benefit from lower costs. The gap in prescription drug coverage starts when someone reaches the initial coverage limit, estimated at $2,850 in 2014. It ends when they have spent $4,550, when catastrophic coverage begins. (These are reductions of $120 and $200, respectively, from 2013.) During the donut hole, all costs are covered by individuals out of their own pocket. In 2014, those who reach the donut hole can receive a 52.5 percent discount on brand-name drugs and 28 percent discount on generic drugs (an increase from 21 percent in 2013).
Under catastrophic coverage, they are responsible for a co-pay of $2.55 for generic or preferred multisource drugs (down from $2.65 in 2013) with a retail price up to $51 and $6.35 for all other drugs (down from $6.60 in 2013) with a retail price up to $127. For 2014, however, beneficiaries are responsible for a 5 percent cost-sharing fee for drugs over those retail prices.
Medicare Part B premium changes are expected. In each of the past three years, Part B premiums have increased. The 2013 monthly premium for Medicare Part B (medical insurance) was $104.90, an increase from $99.90 in 2012. In addition, because Part B premiums are based on the beneficiary’s income and those income levels are frozen at 2010 levels, more individuals could see their premiums change. Information on the standard Part B premium for 2014 should be available by the time Medicare annual open enrollment begins Oct. 15.
Prescription drug Part D plans will see slight changes in deductible and premiums. The Part D initial deductible decreases by $15 to $310. HHS also recently reported the Part D monthly premiums will remain relatively stable, at $31 for a basic prescription drug plan in 2014. This is close to the reported average premium of $30 for the past three years (2011-13). Part D premiums are subject to the same income-based thresholds as Part B.
Changes anticipated for Medicare Advantage plans. Not all plans change every year, but common changes include costs, such as premiums, deductibles and co-pays, and changes to covered procedures, tests, medical facilities and other provisions. Some plans may be eliminated, which means beneficiaries will need to select a new plan or default to original Medicare Part B. Enrollment in Medicare Advantage plans continues to grow with 14.4 million people enrolled, an increase of more than 1 million from 2012, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
Most Medicare participants will receive their Annual Notice of Change (ANOC) and Evidence of Coverage (EO) from their current Medicare Advantage and Part D providers by Sept. 30, according to Muschler. “It’s crucial people review materials as soon as they receive them and asses their current healthcare needs,” she said.
“Healthcare costs are a critical line item in most people’s budget, and especially so for seniors and people with disabilities,” Muschler added. “Believing your current plan will continue to cover your needs in the same way can lead to unexpected and costly surprises.”
Medicare specialists such as Allsup are available to help consumers and their family members review Medicare plans and choices for 2014 coverage, Muschler added.
“For many people, this can be a time-consuming, confusing and complex evaluation process, especially when comparing Part D plans or Medicare Advantage plans,” Muschler said. “Many Medicare beneficiaries are pleased to find out there are Medicare specialists like Allsup who look at the comparative details of the plans, and then provide them the assistance they need to make choices that suit their needs and budget in the coming year.”
The Allsup Medicare Advisor is an affordable, flat-fee based service for Medicare-eligible individuals.
For an evaluation of Medicare options, call an Allsup Medicare Advisor specialist at (866) 521-7655 or visit Medicare.Allsup.com to learn more about the service.
The Allsup Medicare Advisor also has features that help financial advisors guide their clients to the Medicare plans that match their specific lifestyles and healthcare needs. Employers also use Allsup Medicare Advisor for their employees who are retiring and transitioning to Medicare. For more information, go to FinancialAdvisor.Allsup.com, or call (888) 220-9678.
Allsup is a nationwide provider of Social Security disability, veterans disability appeal, Medicare and Medicare Secondary Payer compliance services for individuals, employers and insurance carriers. Allsup professionals deliver specialized services supporting people with disabilities and seniors so they may lead lives that are as financially secure and as healthy as possible. Founded in 1984, the company is based in Belleville, Ill., near St. Louis. For more information, go to http://www.Allsup.com or visit Allsup on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Allsupinc.
The information provided is not intended as a substitute for legal or other professional services. Legal or other expert assistance should be sought before making any decision that may affect your situation.
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Filed under: Assisted Living, Skilled Nursing & Memory Care, Boulder City
Welcome to Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City Assisted Living Community
Boulder City Assisted Living
Lakeview Terrace of Boulder city is a close, intimate assisted living community, located in a small, friendly historic town outside of Las Vegas. We enjoy the natural beauty of Lake Mead, the grandeur of the mountains, and the views of the big horn sheep in our front yard. The glitz and glamour of Las Vegas is only minutes away!
Whether you are a Boomer seeking the best for your parent, a senior interested in securing your own future care, or someone who values the companionship and wisdom of elders—you have started in the right place. Our mission guides us in creating a senior services environment where elders direct their lives. We support each individual’s choices and desires to be healthy, embrace life-long learning, and experience elderhood to its fullest.
At Lakeview Terrace, we believe in the power of the team, families, and elders working together to create a real sense of community. We invite you to visit Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City to experience the joy and security we can help provide.
Boulder City, NV Senior Care Options
Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City provides a full range of exceptional senior living options. Our community offers all of the comforts of home with the added benefit of a team of experienced, caring professionals dedicated to providing you or your loved one with quality service.
Senior Care Boulder City Services & Amenities
Welcome to your new home at Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City in Boulder City, NV. As soon as you step foot into our beautiful senior living community, you’ll feel right at home.
Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City offers the finest senior living in Boulder City, including daily activities, organized outings, nutritional meals, a variety of exercise programs and much more. Our programs are individually designed for each senior living option. Whether you are seeking specialized memory care, or a more independent or residential care style of living, we’d love to welcome you or your loved one home at Lakeview Terrace of Boulder City.