Does Medicare Cover Long-Term Care?
My husband and I both have Medicare. As we get older, we’ve started to think about the possibility that we’ll need personal care and other long-term care services in the future. Will Medicare cover the long-term care services that we may need? If not, where can we find help accessing and paying for long-term care?
-Sebastian (Dallas, TX)
Long-term care (LTC) refers to a range of services and support that help you perform everyday activities. LTC can be provided in a nursing home, assisted living facility, or other setting, and may include medical care, therapy, 24-hour care, personal care, and custodial care (homemaker services). Medicare usually does not cover LTC services. However, if you need care, there are other organizations and forms of insurance you can try:
Medicaid is a state and federal program that provides health coverage if you have a limited income. Medicaid is the country’s largest payer of LTC services and will pay for nursing home care. Medicaid benefits also coordinate with Medicare.
An Area Agency on Aging may be able to provide counseling and connect you with services in your area. Visit www.eldercare.acl.gov/Public/About/Aging_Network/AAA.aspx to find your local AAA.
Local senior centers may have programs that can deliver meals, provide transportation and shopping assistance, and offer case management. To find senior centers in your area, call your local AAA.
Faith-based organizations and charities may offer services, financial assistance, and/or referrals to other organizations in your area.
Geriatric care managers are health and human services professionals who work privately with you and your family to create a plan of care that meets your needs.
In certain areas, you can dial 2-1-1 to ask for referrals to community services. You can also contact your State Health Insurance Assistance Program (SHIP) for assistance and counseling.
Visit www.shiptacenter.org or call 877-839-2675 to contact your SHIP.
If you are unsure what kind of care you need, you may want to start by asking your provider.
Article Submitted by: Stephanie Kirk, Owner JC Madison Inc.
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