Dying Broke is Typical in America

The prospect of dying broke looms as an imminent threat for the boomer generation. The New York Times had an incredible series of articles about the long term care industry called Dying Broke. The series examines how the immense financial costs of long-term care drain older Americans and their families. These highly profitable facilities often charge $5,000 a month or more and then layer on extra fees at every step. Facilities layer on extra fees, driving profits. Half of assisted-living operators earn at least 20 percent more than it costs to run their sites.

For residents, the median annual price of assisted living has increased 31 percent faster than inflation, nearly doubling from 2004 to 2021, to $54,000, according to surveys by the insurance firm Genworth.

There are now 31,000 assisted-living facilities nationwide — twice the number of skilled nursing homes. Four of every five facilities are run as for-profits.

Class-action lawsuits have accused several assisted-living chains of failing to raise staffing levels to accommodate residents’ needs or of failing to fulfill billed services.

Roughly 10,000 Americans will turn 65 every day until 2030. A provision in Biden’s Build Back Better Act provided more funding for home care under Medicaid was rejected by Republicans in the final Inflation Reduction Act.

Americans just need to save more for when they will inevitably need care, said Senator Mike Braun of Indiana, the ranking Republican on the aging committee.

Dying Broke, the investigative series, uses KFF polling, original analysis and interviews with experts and impacted individuals and their families to examine the challenges facing families and caregivers in navigating long-term care.