Understanding Medicare & Medicaid
Medicare & Medicaid
70% of people over age 65 will need some type of long term care during their lifetimes.1 Generally, health insurance doesn’t cover those expenses, nor does Medicare. Medicaid may provide some coverage but only for lower-income Americans.
Medicare: The Facts
Medicare can help pay for some long term care expenses and many people think that it will cover all of their long term care needs. Generally, Medicare will not pay for services for chronic conditions that require ongoing care.
Medicare will help pay for a short stay in a skilled nursing facility, for hospice care, or for home health care if the following conditions are met:
- You had a recent prior hospital stay of at least three days.
- You are admitted to a Medicare-certified nursing facility within 30 days of your prior hospital stay (not all facilities are Medicare-certified).
- You need skilled care such as physical therapy or skilled nursing services.
If you meet ALL of these conditions, Medicare will pay 100% of your costs for the first 20 days. For days 21-100, you pay your own expenses up to $167.50 a day and Medicare pays any balance. After 100 days, you are fully responsible for the entire cost of your care for each day you remain in a skilled nursing facility.2
88% of the cost of nursing home care following hospitalization falls on you and your family 3
Medicaid: The Facts
Medicaid is a joint federal and state public assistance program for financing health care for low-income people. It pays for health care services for those with low incomes or very high medical bills relative to income and assets. It is the largest public payer of long-term care services.
Medicaid pays for certain health services and nursing home care for people with low incomes and limited assets. Eligibility is usually based on income and personal financial resources. So, to qualify for Medicaid you may have to spend down your assets. It's important to know that Medicaid benefits may vary by state. To find out the eligibility requirements in your state, visit this website.