Does Medicare Pay for Assisted Living?
In 1965, President Lyndon Johnson signed the bill that created the Medicare program, providing economic stability and improving the health and well-being of our citizens and our nation. As people move towards retirement age, they look forward to receiving their Medicare and Social Security benefits, and feel at ease assuming that Medicare will pay for assisted living and other long term care expenses, but unfortunately it doesn't.
Over the years there have been changes made by congress to improve the Medicare program, but with the soaring costs of Long Term Care, the program can simply not support these costs. There are limited exceptions which I'll explain.
If you suffer an illness or an injury requiring a minimum of 3 days in the hospital, you may qualify to have your long term care costs covered by medicare in a skilled nursing facility for rehabilitation purposes, but your number of free days is limited to 20. After that patients are required to pay $170.50 (2019) copay per day up to 100 days. Beyond 100 days and you have to pay completely out of pocket.
Aging always feels far away, and it might be easy to think that you won't end up in a nursing home until you have an injury or illness, and you're not going to be there very long anyway, so the Medicare qualification will work out just great for you. The reality is that 70% of Long Term Care claims begin at home simply because people reach a point where they need help with normal daily living activities without suffering an injury or illness, and the average amount of time people require long term care is 5 years.
Assisted living and nursing home care is just one of the many services that fall under the long term care umbrella, so it's important to start thinking beyond just those facilities and start considering the possibility of staying in your home with the need for additional help.
Long term care costs add up quickly, and self insuring is not a great option. What you should consider is a co-insuring plan with a single premium annuity policy with a long term care rider. With this product the insurance company will either double or triple your principle investment to help cover long term care expenses, and will give you your money back if you don't end up using it, so clients are made whole 100% of the time.
To see if you qualify and start your application, schedule some time with our life insurance agents today.