Medicare Coverage and Long-Term Care
The term "Long-Term Care," also known as custodial care, is used to refer to a variety of medical and non-medical services that are needed by people who are disabled and those who suffer from chronic diseases. Medicare does not cover these services, so it's a good idea to understand your options if you need long-term care.
Long-term care does not only apply to medical services. It also includes non-medical care, such as unskilled personal assistance — this is when it is referred to as custodial care.
For example, if you are disabled or chronically ill, you might need someone to help you with everyday activities like getting dressed, bathing or using the bathroom. Although these do not incur medical costs, they are still custodial care services that incur non-medical costs that you would otherwise have to pay for from your own pocket.
You can get custodial coverage in a variety of ways. One way is to purchase long-term care insurance before you need it. This doesn’t replace your Medicare coverage and is provided by private insurance companies.
It is important to realize that, because these policies are insurer-specific, they can vary considerably in terms of cost, rules and in the type of services covered. For instance, some policies only cover nursing home services, while others provide a wide range of additional coverage.
Another favored method used by those who can afford it is to use your own personal resources to pay for long-term care, which is expensive. Some may use a savings account or a life insurance policy may allow people to use funds for long-term care.
Finally, you can use PACE or Medicaid if you qualify for it. Programs of All-inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE) provides medically-necessary services that are needed by people who need long-term or custodial care services. The Medicaid program pays for various health care services, and is there to assist citizens who have limited income and resources.
For more information about your Medicare Advantage and Medicare Supplement options, or to speak with an agent, use the GoMedicare quoting engine above.
- Medicare.gov: The Official U.S. Government Site for Medicare. Retrieved September 17, 2010.
- Social Security Online. Retrieved September 17, 2010.