Will Medicare and Medicaid Work for Me Like Long Term Care Insurance?
Long-Term Care Insurance Medicare and Medicaid should not be considered absolute substitutes for long-term care insurance.
Coverage Under Medicare
Medicare generally doesn’t pay for Long Term Care insurance. According to Medicare.gov, the official U.S. Government site for Medicare, “Medicare pays only for medically necessary skilled nursing facility or home health care.” However, you must meet certain conditions for Medicare to pay for these types of care.
Most Long Term Care, on the other hand, assists people with the activities of daily life. You and I may take for granted the fact that we can dress, bathe, and use the bathroom, but millions of Americans need assistance with these activities. Medicare.gov states, “Medicare doesn’t pay for this type of care called ‘custodial care.’”
What about Medicaid?
Medicare.gov continues by defining Medicaid as, “a State and Federal Government program that pays for certain health services and nursing home care for older people with low incomes and limited assets. Medicaid also pays for some long-term care at home and in the community. Who is eligible and what services are covered varies from state to state. Most often, eligibility is based on your income and personal resources.”
According to the National Clearinghouse for Long Term Care Information
“If you have fairly low income and savings, you may qualify for Medicaid, the federal public program that pays for most long-term care services. Other federal public programs, such as the Older Americans Act, and state-funded programs, pay for long-term care services, but, like Medicaid, these programs cover services for people with high levels of disability and low income and savings.
With 70 percent of us needing long-term care services at some point during our lives after turning age 65, and the limited coverage of public programs, there is a good chance you will have to pay for some or all of the services out of your personal income and savings. Even if you only need a little assistance at home with personal care, paying for long-term care out of your personal income and savings can be difficult. For example, you would pay more than $19,000 on average for a home health aide to assist three times a week, in 2010.”