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Local Seniors Pinched By Out-of-Pocket Healthcare Spending

Elderly community members seem to have more challenges facing them every day. When seniors reach an age and physical condition that they can no longer work, they are often forced to make difficult choices that have very clear implications on their overall well-being. The Chicago elder abuse attorneys are our firm appreciate that a limit on financial resources usually hits seniors at the very moment that their health declines and they need to pay for added medical costs and day to day caregiving assistance.

Elder abuse and mistreatment in day to day caregiving scenarios is most likely to affect those who rely on Medicaid support or otherwise cannot afford to pay for the best care possible. Therefore, one step in working to eliminate chronic mistreatment of seniors is ensuring that they have access to basic, quality care regardless of their personal finances.

Of course, each Illinois nursing home neglect lawyer at our firm appreciates that ensuring adequate financial resources for seniors is no easy step. For one thing, healthcare costs continue to hits seniors particularly hard-often causing a spiral of financial problems at the bottom of which leads to abuse and mistreatment.

AARP Medicare Report
Recently, the AARP issued a comprehensive report that seeks to quantify the out-of-pocket costs faced by seniors on Medicare. Federal lawmakers are considering a wide-range of policy changes which may slash Medicare aid that so many seniors count on. It is important to understand the effect this might have on local seniors.

What many do not consider are the costs faced by seniors out of pocket even with Medicare coverage. Medicare is the federal program that pays for certain healthcare costs for individuals over 65 years old or younger, disabled individuals. While the program pays for much care, it still is a “cost-sharing” project, which requires participants to pay out of their own pocket.

To get at the bottom of those out-of-pocket costs, researchers from the AARP surveyed more than 12,000 Medicare beneficiaries. The surveys collected a range of information on the senior’s health care spending and other demographic data. The sample pool was representative of the entire country, including participants who lived full and part-time in long-term care facilities, like nursing homes.

The overall take-away from the AARP report is that the average Medicare beneficiary spends over $3,100 dollars a year on healthcare. A considerable number of others (about 10% of all Medicare participants) spent nearly $8,000 a year out of their own pocket. These are significant costs for everyone, but they can be debilitating for seniors on small, fixed incomes.

Sadly, the report author explained that the oldest and poorest Medicare beneficiaries were hit the hardest. These individuals-who usually need the most care because of their frailties-often spent more than 25% of their entire income on healthcare costs. Consider the challenges that those individual’s face when forced to stretch their remaining income on housing, food, utilities, and other caregiving needs. Elder neglect attorneys know that these particularly vulnerable individuals are often the most at risk for being mistreated.

Please Click Here to read the whole AARP report.

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