California Long Term Care Costs May Become Insurmountable With Elimination Of Medi-Cal Support Services

The UCLA Center for Health Policy Research and the Insight Center for Community Economic Development released new data last week that showed that a senior living along in Los Angeles would need twice the media income (based upon $17,029) to survive.  In all 58 California counties, long-term health care is far out of reach for the state’s seniors living alone who are disabled. Yet even as costs soar, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed the elimination of Medi-Cal-funded in-home supportive services for up to 400,000 seniors as a means of closing the state’s budget gap.

In 33 counties (57 percent of all California counties), the cost of long-term health care for elderly single women – who are more likely than men to use long-term care – exceeds the median income for single Californians aged 65 or older. In 38 counties (65.5 percent of all counties), the cost of long-term care combined with basic living expenses is at least two times the median income for this group. And in all 58 California counties, long-term care paired with basic living expenses far exceeds median income.

"When getting help at home costs a year’s income, something’s wrong," said Steven P. Wallace, associate director of the Center for Health Policy Research. "It means that extended families will be stretched thin to provide care or that the elderly will bankrupt themselves to pay for a service provider."


For the full data and statistics, click here.