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Medicare and Medicaid

Medicare does not cover long-term care! Maybe you’ve come across this warning dozens of times, or maybe this is the first time you’ve read it. But medicare doesn’t cover long stay in a nursing home and does not provide 240hr personal care at home or in an assisted living facility. Medicare does cover many of the healthcare services you or your parent need to live safely at home.

Medicaid, a federal-state program for low-income individuals, does cover long-term care in nursing homes and many home and community based services, but its eligibility and other resules are stringent awkward terms.

Myth: Long-term care means a nursing home

Surveys shows that only a third of American adults think that they will need long-term care, when in reality about 70% of people over 65 will need at least some form of long-term care during their lifetimes. Part of the reason for this discrepancy is that many people link long-term care to nursing home care, and they say firmly “I don’t want to go there”

In fact, nursing homes are now the last resort not the first option in long-term care. Many more options exist to remain at home, with assistance and perhaps home modifications. Long-term services and supports -the new terminology for community care- are alternatives to nursing homes. So are assisted-living facilities, although they do not provide the level of nursing care that may be required for osmeone who is very ill or has dementia.

Some people are reluctant to engage in long-term care planning because they find the prospect of being in a nursing home not only distasteful but also hugely expensive.

What will they do if they become ill or disabled? Here are the answers get a littl emurky. Some say “my family will take care of me”, “I won’t stay around long enough to find out”

More exposure to alternatives to nursing-home care might help dispel this myth, as would information about changes in nursing homes that create a more inviting environment. The message could be: This is not your Grandma’s long-term care.

Last Updated On August 13, 2018