Long-Term Care Options Covered By Medicare
As Americans are living longer, the need for long-term care continues to grow. Proper planning for this stage of life is important. As you plan for your future or that of a loved one, it is important to understand the long-term care options that are covered by Medicare. The Gardner elder law attorneys at Stockton & Stern, LLC provide compassionate counsel to Kansas families who are facing the challenges of each of life’s stages.
What is Medicare?
Medicare is a health insurance program administered by the federal government that provides benefits to individuals over the age of 65, certain younger individuals with a severe disability, or those individuals with End-Stage Renal Disease, a permanent kidney failure requiring dialysis or a transplant. Different aspects of the Medicare program cover specific medical services.
Medicare and long-term care
Long term care is defined by the government as “services that include medical and nonmedical care provided to people who are unable to perform basic activities of daily living, like dressing or bathing.” Most long-term care is not medical care, but is care and support for everyday life activities. As such, this type of long-term care is not covered under Medicare. Medicare does not pay for long-term nursing care, assisted living, adult daycare, or daily custodial care. It does cover certain medical care, as outlined below.
What does Medicare cover?
Medicare has two parts: Part A and Part B. Part A is hospital insurance and Part B is medical insurance. Generally speaking, the different parts of the program cover the following services:
Medicare Part A
- Inpatient care in a hospital
- Inpatient care in a skilled nursing facility (not custodial or long-term care)
- Hospice care
- Care at a skilled nursing facility
- Home health care
Medicare Part B
- Medical services or supplies that are necessary to diagnose or treat your medical condition and that meet accepted standards of medical practice
- Preventive services including health care to prevent illness or detect it at an early stage
- Clinical research
- Ambulance services
- Inpatient treatment
- Outpatient treatment
- Mental health services
- Durable medical equipment (DME)
- Partial hospitalization
- Second medical opinion prior to surgery
- Limited outpatient prescription drugs
Long-term care insurance
Because long-term care can be quite expensive, some individuals choose to purchase long-term care insurance that typically covers services that are not covered by Medicare, such as nursing home care, extended home care, or assisted living.
Questions about Medicare and your long-term care options? We can help
Understanding Medicare and the various coverages afforded under the plan can be confusing. Planning for long-term care for yourself or a loved one can be stressful and emotional. Let us help. At Stockton & Stern , our Gardner Kansas elder law attorneys provide a broad range of services for all of life’s stages, including Medicare and long-term care planning, Medicaid planning, conservatorships, guardianships, and estate planning. Contact a member of our team today to make plans for your future at 913-856-2828 or contact us online.