What Medicare and Other Medical Plans Cover:
It may come as a surprise to you that most medical plans —
including Medicare — cover
very little of the costs associated with long-term care services.
Here are some facts:
Medicare: A government program for people 65 and older and those
who are disabled.
It generally covers some care in a nursing home and at home, but it does so only for a
limited time and is subject to restrictions.
Medicare Supplement Insurance: Medicare Supplement covers the
as Medicare. So, if Medicare doesn't cover it, Medicare Supplement won't
Major Medical, HMO or Private Health Insurance: Some Medical,
HMO or other
private health insurance plans will cover a month or two of skilled nursing care (usually
following a hospital stay), but generally no more than that. Consult your
Federal/State Government "Medicaid" program: Generally, you can
on help from this program if you meet Medicaid's financial eligibility criteria, which may
require you to spend down your assets. Medicaid is a "means-tested" program, not an
entitlement, so don't depend on Medicaid.
who pays for it?
For the most part, the person who needs the care shoulders the cost. Unless you
Long-Term Care Insurance, you could find yourself paying for virtually all the costs
with receiving long-term care services. And that can be substantial:
Nursing home costs average $91,250 per year in the U.S. Considering that the
average length of stay is 2.4 years, your total cost can be as high as $219,000.
Assisted living community on average can cost $51,000 annually.
Home care costs average $27,300 annually - and that's just for part-time
services. (At our local rate of about $21 per hour, that provides almost 25 hours a week
of in-home care.)