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Published: Tue, June 06, 2017
Economy | By Melissa Porter

How Trump Budget May Impact Senior Living Options

How Trump Budget May Impact Senior Living Options

According to the PEW Research Center, 10,000 US baby boomers will reach the age of 65 every day until the year 2030. How the Trump Administration will deal with the increased burden on the Social Security and Medicare system has come to light in the proposed 2018 fiscal budget. Key benefits remain untouched, but Medicaid spending will have savings of $610 billion over the next 10 years. The Trump administration argues that these savings give the States more power and they will be more efficient with spending.

Benefits Eligibility 

A big concern for low income seniors with a serious illness is whether or not they'll qualify for senior living benefits under Medicaid. In most States, an individual who qualifies for Medicaid must make less than $1,025 a month. Individuals who are over 65 and on Medicare get some nursing home assistance after a surgery, for example, but only for 100 days. If the individual qualifies for Medicaid, most states will help low income seniors with what is called custodial care. This type of care is for personal, day to day needs like moving around, preparing meals, eating, bathing, etc.

If a senior wishes to have custodial care at his or her home, it is called home health care. Medicare will cover home health if the care is short term. Similar to custodial care in a nursing home, Medicaid will assist with home health if the senior is on low income.

Moving Into Assisted Living 

There are also options for seniors such as assisted living, which allows a person to live in a community setting, still have independence, while staff check in on medications, etc. Most low income seniors will not be able to afford this kind of care as the cost will be up to the individual. Of course the expense of assisted living depends on the company and location.

Further Proposals 

This budget is just a starting point for the houses to consider. The proposal also includes cuts of popular programs, such as the Appalachian Regional Commission (ARC). ARC has been in existence since 1965 and works with the 13 states in the Appalachian region on economic opportunities, ready workforce, critical infrastructure, etc. This cut along with other items on Trump’s budget will cause much discussion and possible delay.

Depending on whether the budget concerns mandatory or discretionary spending, depends on the process for house or senate approval. The final negotiated budget is sent to the President, and in theory, this process is completed by October 1st. If the budget isn’t finalized the Chambers can create resolutions to continue funding for the different agencies at current levels. Retirees and senior citizens should pay close attention to the impact changes will have on their long term living choices. 

 

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