Does Medicare Pay for Long Term Care?

It is projected that nearly 3 out of 4 people over the age of 65 will require some form of long-term care during their lifetime. While family and friends usually try to meet the needs of their loved ones, in most cases a professional caregiver will be needed as part of the long-term care plan.

Costs of care will vary, but the national averages for long term care in 2010 were as follows:

Homemaker Services:  $ 18/hour
Home Health Aid Services:  $ 19/hour
Assisted Living Facility (single)  $ 3185/month
Nursing Home (semi-private)  $ 185/day
Nursing Home (private room)  $ 206/day

A common misconception is that health insurance will pay for long-term care expenses. But the fact is that long term care is generally not considered medical care. Because of this health insurance plans will not pay for long term care expenses. Medicare will generally cover skilled care assuming the person has been in the hospital for at least 3 days. It will not provide care for an extended period of time (e.g. more than 100 days.) And it usually does not cover home or personal care.

Next:  How do you assess the need for assistance and care?

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