You’ve probably thought about long-term care and nursing homes at some point in your life, but you likely put them in the back of your mind. We get it — it’s not something most people look forward to.
But even if you or a loved one have many years before possibly moving into a nursing home or assisted living facility, it’s important to start thinking about how you might pay for it. Medicare, unfortunately, doesn’t cover most long-term care.
Let’s dive into the different types of long-term care and what your coverage may look like.
What Is Long-Term Care?
Long-term care is also called custodial care. In most cases, it’s not medical care. Instead, it includes different services — such as nursing homes — that support your personal care needs. These needs include “activities of daily living,” like using the toilet, bathing, meal preparation, and getting dressed. As you age, these activities can sometimes become challenging to do on your own, and long-term care services can help.
What Does Medicare Cover?
Generally, Medicare doesn’t cover long-term care or custodial care. It won’t cover costs for services that help with daily activities, such as a nursing home or assisted-living facility.
While Medicare won’t cover custodial care, it will still cover the necessary medical care you may need. This can include:
- Skilled nursing care in a skilled nursing facility
- Hospice care
- Certain home health services
- Treatment in a long-term care hospital
What Are My Options for Long-Term Care Coverage?
If you want to make sure you’re covered for possible long-term care needs, you can purchase a standalone long-term care insurance plan. You can enroll in these supplemental programs in addition to your Medicare coverage, so you and your spouse can have peace of mind for the future.