Los Angeles, CA, April 04, 2016 --(PR.com
)-- Sweeping changes in Medicare payments to hospitals for seniors needing knee and hip replacements will drive more seniors to requiring immediate home care following surgery. The change boosts the potential sales of short-term care insurance predicts a national expert.
"The Medicare program which spends $12.2 billion on knee and hip replacements over a five year period is attempting to reduce costs," explains Jesse Slome, director of the National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information. (NAC-STCI) "Medicare will now incent and reward hospitals that stay below a financial target for knee and hip replacements. The best way to achieve savings is to discharge patients directly to the home rather than a skilled nursing home or other post-acute care facility."
Currently, about half of hip and knee replacement patients spend time in skilled nursing homes. "This adds substantially to the cost for Medicare," Slome adds. About a third of patients according to researchers get care from home health care agencies. The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services estimates the program will save $343 million over the next five years.
Slome who is also director of the American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance notes that many people associate procedures like knee and hip replacements with long-term care. "Long-term care insurance requires that individuals be certified as needing care for 90-days or longer and these types of procedures rarely meet that criteria," Slome notes. "However, short-term care insurance does not have that requirement and could pay the individual immediately when they need care."
Short-term care insurance is gaining favor as more individuals realize it is an affordable option which can pay for care in one's own home as well as for care in a skilled care facility.
"The policies are less expensive and often will provide all the care an individual will ever need," Slome explains. "Nearly half (41%) of all long-term care insurance claims last only one year or less." The number of short-term care policies sold has been steadily increasing in recent years according to NAC-STCI findings.
The American Association for Long-Term Care Insurance advocates for the importance of planning and supports insurance and financial professionals who market long term care insurance solutions. Slome is also head of the National Advisory Center for Short-Term Care Information, established in 2015 to create awareness for the benefits offered by short-term care insurance products. For information, visit their website at www.shorttermcareinsurance.org.