Is Long Term Care in the Future for Medicare?

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One of the main problems people have with Medicare is that it doesn’t provide coverage for long term care. This can make the process of aging and taking care of loved ones difficult and costly. Without long term care coverage, people are forced to pay out of pocket or to purchase long term care insurance.

New bill would add long term care benefit

Last week, Representative Frank Pallone (D-NJ) released a bill that would add a new long-term care benefit for Medicare beneficiaries. Those with Medicare could use this benefit to pay for support no matter where they live or how much income they have.

Past legislation in this direction has not been passed.

Rep. Pallone said, “The growing need for long-term care is one of the greatest threats to retirement security for American seniors, and the adult children who care for them.”

Long-term care can take over one’s life, and the costs can lead to financial ruin.

What the bill includes for long term care

The name of the new Act is the Medicare Long-Term Care Services and Supports Act of 2018. The proposed law includes:

  • A cash benefit within Medicare for anyone eligible for Medicare and those under 65 with certain disabilities.
  • A self-directed benefit that could be used toward all long-term services and supports (LTSS), such as nursing home care, adult day programs, home health aide services, personal care services, transportation, and assistance provided by a family caregiver.
  • Incentives for Medicare beneficiaries to seek care at home, allowing more people to stay at home where they want to be.
  • Relief for caregivers.

If enacted, this long term care benefit would be the first new Medicare benefit since Medicare Part D, which was implemented in 2006.

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