Nov 25, 2019

Buttigieg's new plan for long-term care

Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images

South Bend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg is out this morning with a new plan to shore up long-term care, along with other retirement-related priorities.

Why it matters: Older people caucus, and long-term care is an enormous strain on millions of families.

The big picture: Medicare doesn’t cover the services performed in nursing homes or by home health aides.

  • Medicaid does, but families often have to sell their homes and spend all their money to become poor enough to get Medicaid.
  • Some pay out of pocket, but the costs can be astronomical.

How it works: The cornerstone of Buttigieg’s plan is a stipend to help people cover their long-term care costs — $90 per day, which the campaign says “would kick in after an income-related waiting period.”

  • Medicaid today only covers long-term care for people who have less than $2,000 in assets. Buttigieg proposes raising that to $10,000.
  • He has endorsed a $15/hour minimum wage and argues that this would help expand the long-term care workforce.
  • The plan also calls for mandating Medicaid coverage either at home or in a nursing home — home care can be harder to come by today.

Go deeper: The looming crisis in long-term care

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More older Americans rely on Medicare and Medicaid

Data: Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Retirement in America is growing less secure, physically and financially, given the omnipresent threat and cost of serious illness or disease.

Why it matters: Qualifying for Medicare does not guarantee that older adults will skirt potentially ruinous medical bills. Millions of seniors have also come to rely on the taxpayer-funded program for lower income people — Medicaid — and there's no indication that will slow down.

Go deeperArrowNov 16, 2019

Health care hiring is recession-proof

Photo: Hinterhaus Productions/Getty Images

Health care hiring is driving the labor market, and it's so robust that it likely would be safe even during a recession or political upheaval, CNN Business reports.

Between the lines: No matter what happens, the population is aging and will need care.

Go deeperArrowNov 19, 2019

Government nursing home database flags 5% of facilities for abuse or neglect

New Jersey, Morristown, nursing home residents. Photo: Jeffrey Greenberg/Education Images/Universal Images Group via Getty Images

A government nursing home database has begun flagging those recently cited for abuse or neglect, the Wall Street Journal reports.

By the numbers: Of the 15,262 facilities in the database, 760 — or about 5% — have been flagged with a red icon.

Go deeperArrowNov 20, 2019