About Medicare Pertaining to Long Term Care Insurance


One of the most common misconceptions pertaining to Long Term Care is that Medicare will pay for all Long Term Care costs.

Medicare is a federal program that provides some hospital and medical insurance to people 65 and older, some people with disabilities under the age of 65, and people with End-Stage Renal Disease (permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant).

The benefits for nursing home and home health care are very limited. Medicare's skilled nursing home coverage does not cover most nursing home care. Medicare will pay the first 100 days in a nursing home if you are receiving skilled care and you have at least a 3 day long hospital stay prior to entering the nursing home. Medicare will not cover homemaker services and does not pay for a home health aide to provide personal care. All home health care services must be skilled care for Medicare to pay.

There are also copays and deductibles you are responsible for. It is important not to rely on Medicare for your LTC needs.

NAIC, Shopper's Guide to Long Term Care Insurance,2003


Some things to keep in mind about Medicare's coverage for Long Term Care:


  • Most Long Term Care is not skilled care
  • Most Long Term Care does not take place in a nursing home
  • Most nursing home stays do not immediately follow a hospital stay
  • Most people require types of care in their home that Medicare does not offer, such as personal care and homemaker services
  • Most people will not start Medicare coverage until age 65


For further information Medicare's benefits, eligibility, enrollment, etc. please visit Centers for Medicare Services.