| Thu, Oct 03, 2013 @ 09:00 AM

Medicare Memo: Who Pays For Long-Term Care?

Posted by Medicare Made Clear

long term careIf you haven’t given a long-term care plan a second thought, you’re not alone. According to Retirement Care Planning: The Middle-Income Boomer Perspective, a report by Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement, 72 percent of middle-age baby boombers have no plan in place to take care of the day-to-day care they may someday need in retirement.1 Only one in five have a rough plan for their retirement care.2 Just eight percent have a plan that will cover all their needs.3

Boomers are nearly five times more likely to have a concrete plan for when they pass away than to have a plan for the care they may need while they live out their retirement years.

Four out of five Boomers have taken at least one action to prepare for when they pass away.4 Actions include discussing funeral arrangements, picking a burial place, buying life insurance to cover final expenses and creating a Will. Whereas, less than one-fifth of Boomers have planned for their care during the later years of their life.5

More than three-quarters of middle-income Boomers either incorrectly think Medicare will pay for ongoing long-term care or simply do not know how they will fund their care.

Medicare only pays for long-term care if you need skilled services or rehabilitative care:

  • in a nursing home for a maximum of 100 days; or

  • at home if you are also receiving skilled home health or other skilled-in services.

Medicare will not pay for non-skilled assistance with Activities of Daily Living. You will have to pay for your own long-term care services that are not covered by a public or private insurance program.

Finding help from a retirement care planning professional is a helpful first step. Here are a few other ways you can start creating your retirement financial plan.

  • Set aside a part of your existing retirement savings for retirement care.

  • See if you qualify for long-term care insurance.

  • Investigate care providers and costs in your area.

  • If you’re downsizing, think about a single-level home that will let you to age in place.

Don’t wait. Those who have created a long-term care plan say that starting sooner rather than later is a smart approach and that completing a plan can help reduce worries about the future.

What is Long-Term Care?

Long-term care is a service you may need to meet your health or personal needs over a long period of time. It is not medical care, but rather help with basic personal tasks, or Activities of Everyday Life, such as:

  • Bathing

  • Dressing

  • Using the toilet

  • Transfering (to or from bed or chair)

  • Caring for incontinence

  • Eating

Other common long-term care services are assistance with everyday tasks, including: 

  • Housework

  • Managing money

  • Taking medication

  • Preparing meals

  • Shopping for groceries or clothes

  • Using the telephone

  • Caring for pets

For more information, contact the Medicare helpline 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 1-800-MEDICARE (1-800-633-4227), TTY 1-877-486-2048. If you have questions about Medicare Made Clear, call 1-877-619-5582, TTY 711, 8 a.m. – 8 p.m. local time, seven days a week.


A Key Expense Medicare Won’t Cover: Medicaremadeclear.com

Longtermcare.gov: Learn the basics of long term care

Retirement Care Planning: The Middle-Income Boomer Perspective: A report by Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement

1,2,3,4,5 Bankers Life and Casualty Company Center for a Secure Retirement: Retirement Care Planning: The Middle-Income Boomer Perspective, 2013