Medicare and Long-Term Care: Things to Consider

Medicare is undoubtedly a crucial health-care plan offered by the US government for helping seniors get the health care which they deserve & need as they age. Medicare covers various medical requirements quite well, however one area which it fails to address is long-term care.


There seems to be a common misconception among most individuals that long-term medical care costs are covered under Medicare but the fact is that it offers little to no protection in these cases.


When it comes to Medicare, is primarily focuses on offering health-care for acute requirements. In short, Medicare will help if a person has an accident or disease which requires a care service or a visit to a hospital or doctor, and the person’s health is likely to be enhanced as a result.


But, in case the health situation of a person deteriorates to a point where they require help with activities of day-to-day living which includes bathing, eating, continence, dressing, transferring, and toileting, it becomes a long-term custodial care where a Medicare is cover might not be enough.


Medicare only pays for the cost of the skilled-care nursing facility for initial 100 days (the person is paid in full for the first 20 days only), & pays for visits by home health professionals only in case of skilled care. Basically, a skilled care is one of those situations in which the health of a person is expected to get better day by day. This includes IVs, speech or physical therapy, etc. Once the progress comes to an end, the case becomes custodial where the assistance provided by the Medicare ends.


Remember that on average, Medicare only pays for nursing home care for the initial 23 days only days as per the 2001 Nursing Care Source- Book.


So what’s the reason Medicare doesn’t want to pay more when it comes to long-term care? The fact is, the US government just can’t afford it. The costs of long-term care are one of the highest medical expenditures which any individual may face in their life.

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As seniors age & require more custodial-care, it’s obvious there won’t be sufficient funds from either federal or state government in order to properly pay for the required care.


Thus, both the federal & state governments want to motivate more and more seniors so that they are able to take responsibility and pay for their own long-term care requirements & ensure quality care is received wherever it’s required.