In This Chapter
Complementing a long-term care plan with Medicare benefits
Examining Medicaid eligibility and long-term care services and supports
Understanding options if you're eligible for both programs
“Medicare does not cover long-term care!” Maybe you've come across this warning dozens of times, or maybe this is the first time you've read it. What most people mean by this warning is that Medicare doesn't cover a long stay in a nursing home (although it does cover a short stay for rehabilitation therapy) and does not provide 24-hour personal care at home or in an assisted-living facility. Although Medicare's limitations are real enough, Medicare does cover many of the healthcare services you or your parent or other relative need to live safely at home and in the community.
Medicaid, a federal-state program for low-income individuals, does cover long-term care in nursing homes and many home- and community-based services, but its eligibility and other rules vary by state and set stringent limits on income and assets. Some people — policymakers call them by the awkward term duals — are eligible for both Medicare and Medicaid ...