Last fall, Minnesota followed 26 other states in urging residents to plan how they will pay for long-term care.   The "Own Your Future" education intitiative, co-sponsored by the federal government, describes various ways to cover long-term care costs, whether it's through savings, a long-term care insurance policy or alternative fiancing options.  About 11 percent of Minnesotans ages 65-84 require long-term care at some point; after 85, that figures rises to 55 percent, accourding to the state Department of Human Resourses.

Neither Medcare not health insurance will pick up the tab; rather, Medicaid (called "Medical Assistance" in Minnesota) kicks in to pay expenses only after the individual uses up his or her own assets.  On average, a Minnesotan pays $67,000 a year for nursing home care, $20,000 for home health care and $40,000 for assisted living, according to DHS.

By 2032, the number of Minnesotans older than 65 will nearly double while the rest of the population is projected to grow only 6 percent.  Yet when boomers were asked in a 2010 state survey how they would pay for long-term care services, roughly a third said they had no idea, said LaRhae Knatterud, state director of aging transformation.

In September, Lt Gov. Prettner Solon and Gov. Mark Dayton (D) mailed a letter to Minnesota resident's ages 40 to 65 directing them to educational materials on the Own Your Future website.  Next year, AARP Minnesota will encourage its 670,000 members to learn about Own Your Future, using direct mail, tele-town hall meetings, email and social media.

"If enough people save or purchase long-term care insurance, they reduce costs to the system, the government and taxpayers," said Michele Kimbal, AARP Minnesota state director and executive director of the Own Your Future Advisory Panel.

We are putting this information on our website so when you have questions, we can provide a Long Term Care expert to answer questions regarding availability, cost of care, and cost for the insurance. 

Please feel to call Julie Feldman to discuss your options with Long Term Care.  Her direct line is (320)633-3117 or toll free at 877-254-3191.