Does Medicare or Medicaid Services Cover Long Term Care?
Does Medicare cover long term care? What about Medicaid? These are important questions, with somewhat complicated answers.
First, let's take a look at Medicare. According to Wikipedia, Medicare is defined as:
A social insurance program administered by the United States government, providing health insurance coverage to people who are aged 65 and over, or who meet other special criteria.
Sounds simple enough, right? The average person, after reading this, may assume that after the age of 65, the government is going to take care of them by providing health insurance. Unfortunately it's not that easy.
Medicare does not and was never intended to pay for long term care.
Medicare simply replaces your health insurance so when you retire and go on Social Security you are covered in the event:
- You go to a hospital
- You visit your doctor
- You need outpatient care
Most of the long term care that we require is custodial care meaning hands on or having some one close by to help with things like cooking, cleaning, managing medications, etc. Or, we require help with personal care, such as bathing, toileting, eating, etc. Medicare does not pay for this.
To complicate matters further, there are two types of Medicare: Medicare A and Medicare B. See this description of medicare / medicaid services for an explanation of the two.
So what are we to do? What benefits will insurance for long term care provide that Medicare does not?
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