Is Medicare Running Out Of Money
According to the Medicare Trustees, the Medicare Trust Fund, which covers hospital services, will be exhausted in 2026, and incoming revenues have long been insufficient to cover expenditures. In 2018, 2019, 2020, and now 2021, the Trustees have told us the same thing: Medicare will run out of money in 2026.
Medicare Is A Health Insurance Program Not A Long
The official Medicare handbook states that Medicare enrollees must pay for long-term care services entirely from their income and savings. Get a copy of the Medicare handbook.
Consumers’ confusion about Medicare and what it covers originates from a misinterpretation of coverage by Medicare’s “post-acute” home health care and skilled nursing facility benefits.
What is Post-Acute Care?
It is a branch of secondary health care where a patient receives active but short-term treatment for a severe injury or episode of illness, an urgent medical condition, or during recovery from surgery. In medical terms, care for acute health conditions is the opposite from chronic care or longer-term care.
The acute care services, delivered by teams of health care professionals, range in medical and surgical specialties. It may require a stay in a hospital emergency department, ambulatory surgery center, urgent care center or another short-term facility.
Another description of “post-acute” services relates to skilled nursing and therapy services some when patients need hospital or outpatient treatment. These could be a skilled nursing visit for wound care and physical therapy after hip surgery. It does not cover long-term care services and supports like personal assistance with daily activities: bathing, using the toilet and managing medications.
How Do I Know If My Medicare Advantage Plan Covers Services Provided In Assisted Living
Nationwide, there are thousands of Medicare Advantage plans, each with their own unique coverage options, costs and additional benefits. Finding a Medicare Advantage plan that covers non-skilled in-home care requires some legwork but, in the end, may provide significant cost savings. To find out what in-home services are covered, seniors should review a copy of their plans Evidence of Coverage notice, which outlines everything the plan covers and to what degree eligible services are covered.
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Assisted Living Payment Options
To pay for assisted living services, a resident may need to utilize several different payment sources. Note that some methods of payment have eligibility requirements.
Additionally, most health insurance plans dont provide benefits for long-term care. This means that health insurance will likely not cover assisted living services.
United States Senior Population Growth
As the need for senior living options increases, middle-income seniors face two significant challenges. First, there arent many existing housing solutions for their mid-market segment.
Second, seniors who must pay for housing and healthcare costs often cant afford one or both services.
Senior living businesses are trying to resolve these troublesome issues by considering more cost-effective construction options. Companies are also repurposing existing buildings and creating unconventional business partnerships.
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What Medicare Pays For In Assisting Living
Medicare covers a substantial range of medical treatments, medications, and other costs related to short- and long-term care. But there are still plenty of treatment options that arenât included. Unfortunately, assisted living facility costs are one of them. If you were hoping to use your parentsâ medicare plan to offset the cost of assisted living, you wonât be able to.
There are several reasons why Medicare doesnât cover assisted living facilities. The primary reason is that Medicare considers assisted living communities as custodial and personal care facilities, rather than hospitals or other medical service providers. Since many of the services that assisted living facilities provide do not require skilled medical professionals, they are not included in Medicare Part A or B coverage.
There is hope, however, for those who are looking to use Medicare for assisted living costs, but with a caveat. Medicare covers assisted living costs relating to medical expenses, which can help when a resident needs specific medical treatment. These types of costs are considered in-home Medicare health services, and are therefore different than the living expense payments that arenât covered.
If you or your loved ones are concerned about financing long-term care, there are options aside from Medicare and personal savings. To understand more about your care-related financial needs, use our cost of care tool.
Q: What Happens If My Level Of Care Increases When I’m Already In An Assisted Living Facility
A: Assisted Living facilities have several levels of care. If you require more care, the staff will meet with you and discuss options. The more care you require, the more it will cost you. Once your care becomes more than the Assisted Living Center can safely handle the staff will discuss transferring you to a nursing home where a higher level of care can be given.
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Medicare: Government Health Insurance For Seniors
Medicare is national, government-funded health insurance that all Americans are eligible for when they turn 65. In some cases, disabled people under 65 can also enroll in Medicare with no premiums.
Medicare has four components:
What Does Medicare Advantage Cover
Health insurance companies that offer Medicare Advantage plans are required to cover the same services and benefits that are included in Original Medicare, and they cannot charge a co-pay or coinsurance for services that are covered 100% under the standard Original Medicare policy. Some medical services that are covered include:
- Hospital care
- Adult day health care
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Seniorsmart: Helping You Budget For Assisted
When you are on a fixed income, there is often not much room left for unexpected costs. When you concierge-level member services, we can help guide you through the costs of higher levels of care, including assisted living in Alabama, and help you financially prepare yourself for the unexpected. today at to speak with one of our retirement planning experts about preparing for long-term care expenses.
Does Medicare Pay For Nursing Home Expenses
Medicare will not pay for custodial care received in a nursing home, but it will pay for skilled nursing care received in a nursing home. Custodial care is similar to care in an assisted living facility where you get help with tasks of daily living like grooming, dressing, eating, hygiene, toileting, and walking.
On the other hand, skilled nursing is care that a senior needs for treatment or care that can only be provided by a licensed nurse.
Typically, skilled nursing includes:
- Administering medications prescribed by a physician
- Physical therapy provided by a licensed rehab team member
- Occupation therapy
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Does Medicare Pay For Assisted Living In Alabama
If you become ill or develop mobility limitations in your senior years, you may need the higher level of care offered by an assisted living facility. These facilities are staffed around the clock to help you with daily tasks if your loved ones cannot care for you regularly. It is always a smart idea to expect the unexpected and plan ahead for your retirement needs. To help you prepare for the possibility of assisted living, you need to know the estimated costs and whether Medicare and Social Security help cover them.
At SeniorSmart, we understand that trying to decipher what Medicare and Social Security cover for seniors can be confusing at times. We provide resources to help our members navigate the financial costs of retirement living, including the possibility of needing a higher level of care. If you feel overwhelmed by the prospect of finding affordable assisted living options, call us today at to take advantage of our concierge-level services.
How Much Does Assisted Living Cost
Assisted living costs an average of $119 a day, or $3,628 a month, according to the governments Administration on Community Living. Juliano-Villani adds that assisted living facilities can cost $5,000 per month, on the lower side.
Most people pay for assisted living out of pocket, with Medicaid or with private long-term care insurance. Some also finance it with reverse mortgages, life insurance options and annuities.
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How Much Does Medicaid Pay For Assisted Living
For many seniors, making the switch to assisted living can come with a host of challenges not the least of which is how to pay for it.
After all, a private, one-bedroom apartment in an assisted living facility costs a median of $4,000 per month in the U.S., according to the Genworth Cost of Care Survey 2018 far more than the average social security check of $1,413 per month . Without savings, it can be difficult for seniors to afford assisted living services or facilities.
Some states have Medicaid programs and other services to help seniors live more independently at home or in assisted living environments. But Medicaid is a joint federal and state-run program, and who can receive benefits, what it pays for and how to enroll varies from one state to the next.
Medicaid’s Benefits For Assisted Living Facility Residents
Assisted living facilities are a housing option for people who can still live independently but who need some assistance. Costs can range from $2,000 to more than $6,000 a month, depending on location. Medicare wont pay for this type of care, but Medicaid might. Almost all state Medicaid programs will cover at least some assisted living costs for eligible residents.
Unlike with nursing home stays, there is no requirement that Medicaid pay for assisted living, and no state Medicaid program can pay directly for a Medicaid recipients room and board in an assisted living facility. But with assisted living costs roughly half those of a semi-private nursing home room, state officials understand that they can save money by offering financial assistance to elderly individuals who are trying to stay out of nursing homes.
Local Elder Law Attorneys in Your City
As of 2019, 44 states and the District of Columbia provided some level of financial assistance to individuals in assisted living, according to the website Paying for Senior Care, which features a State by State Guide to Medicaid Coverage for Assisted Living Benefits that gives details on each states programs. According to the website, the Medicaid programs of Alabama, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Pennsylvania, and Virginia are the only ones that provide no coverage of assisted living, although non-Medicaid assistance may be available.
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How Can You Pay For Assisted Living In Alabama
Not everyone has family members that can commit to providing daily assistance for the long term. In addition, not everyone can afford to pay for an assisted living facility out of pocket. If you require long-term care in an assisted living facility, there are options to help you cover the costs.
Here are some options for covering the costs of assisted living:
- Sell your house and other assets.
- Home equity bridge loans can help if you have urgent assisted-living costs that cannot wait until after your home is sold.
- Long-term care insurance can cover assisted-living expenses. Coverage can be pricey, and you may need to be in good health to purchase certain policies.
- If you qualify for Medicaid, it can cover the costs of nursing home care as well as some home health care. It may also cover assisted living if it can be obtained at a lower cost than a nursing home. Alabama has an Elderly and Disabled Medicaid Waiver that provides services for qualified seniors aged 65 and up and those with disabilities.
Finding Assisted Living That Accepts Medicaid
If youre looking for Medicaid-approved assisted living communities, first review information online about Medicaid Waiver programs available in your state.
You can also contact your local Medicaid office, Department of Aging, Department of Elder Affairs, or local social service agency. Be sure to request a list of all Medicaid programs in your state that your loved one may be eligible for.
Here are some other questions to keep in mind when speaking with an agent:
- What is the process for applying for Medicaid?
- Can you assign a case worker to assist with the application process?
- Is there a waiting list? If so, how long is the waiting list? Are they currently adding individuals to the waiting list?
- What are the income and asset qualifications for Medicaid Waiver programs?
- Are there any programs that would provide services in your loved ones home?
- Are there any programs that would provide services in assisted living?
If your loved one is currently in a skilled nursing facility under Medicaid, ask about Medicaids program called Money Follows the Person. It provides states with federal funding to help seniors move out of facilities like nursing homes and back into their own home or a loved ones home.
Samantha L. Shepherd is a certified elder law attorney and former president of the Missouri chapter of the National Academy of Elder Law Attorneys . She is the managing attorney of Shepherd Elder Law Group in Overland Park, Kansas, and Hutchinson, Kansas.
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How To Find Assisted Living That Accepts Medicare
The question of do assisted living facilities take Medicare comes down to the structure and services of the specific assisted living community. Not all assisted living facilities accept Medicare since they might not be able to directly provide the covered medical services. If you want to use Medicare to pay for your medical care while in an assisted living facility, you will need to ensure that the facility has Medicare certification.
Confirm that Medicare will cover the specific service you need by visiting their website, and work with your doctor to create a healthcare plan. When youre researching assisted living communities, check that they employ the necessary healthcare staff that can directly provide the needed care services.
When researching retirement communities near you ask if they accept Medicare. Also, look into their payment structure. You will need to separate your medical expenses from personal care services as well as room and board fees. This is easily accomplished if the assisted living facility uses an à la carte payment model, but if they have an all-inclusive payment structure, will they still be able to provide an itemized list of medical services?
What Does Medicare Cover
Medicare is America’s health insurance program for citizens aged 65 and older. You may also qualify if you have a disability, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis , or end-stage renal disease .
Original Medicare includes two parts.
- Medicare Part A, also known as hospital insurance, covers inpatient care received in a hospital or skilled nursing facility . It also helps pay for hospice care.
- Medicare Part B, also known as medical insurance, helps pay for inpatient services such as you’d receive in a doctor’s office. It also covers lab work, mental health services, durable medical equipment, and more.
Original Medicare coverage does not include long-term care. This includes personal care, custodial care, room and board at an assisted living facility, and assistance with the tasks of daily living .
If you have a qualifying 3-day hospital stay, Medicare will help pay for short-term care in a skilled nursing facility.
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How To Pay For Assisted Living
The national median cost of assisted living is $4,300 per month according to Genworths 2020 Cost of Care Survey. Assisted living prices vary depending on location, services, room type and amenities, but paying anywhere from $30,000 to nearly $70,000 a year on senior living costs is a shock for most older adults, regardless of their socioeconomic status.
Most families cover assisted living costs using private fundsoften a combination of savings, Social Security benefits, pension payments and retirement accounts. However, there are some government programs and financial tools that can offer help paying for assisted living. It is important to ensure a senior takes advantage of all resources available to finance their long-term care. Some of the most popular ways of paying for assisted living are listed below, including some options that are less well known.
Does Medicare Cover Assisted Living Costs
Does Medicare pay for assisted living? How much does Medicare cover for assisted living?
And, how do I find an assisted living that accepts Medicare? These are all important questions if you are thinking about an assisted living facility for yourself or a loved one.
Unfortunately, Medicare coverage does not extend to any residency or custodial care costs. Neither Medicare Part A, Medicare Part B, nor Medicare Part C pays for assisted living facility expenses.
Medicare will cover a residents health services in accordance with their Medicare Beneficiary Agreement. However, each service must be medically necessary, and a participating Medicare health care provider must perform the service.
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Who Can Get Medicaid Assistance For Assisted Living
While the federal government requires Medicaid to cover low-income adults over 65, as well as those who are blind or have a disability, states themselves get to decide what criteria to use to determine someones eligibility.
Requirements are typically based on someones resources, but states have different thresholds for how much a person can have in savings or assets before enrolling in Medicaid. In some cases, states will adjust those thresholds to account for dependents or spouses who dont require assisted living. Even so, seniors generally have to deplete almost all of their savings before being eligible to receive assisted living benefits through their states Medicaid program.
Visit Benefits.gov or your states Medicaid website for more information on eligibility requirements and how to enroll.