Long-term Care

Health insurance pays employees’ doctor and hospital bills if they get sick or injured, but usually long-term care isn't covered by these plans. In addition, typically neither Medicare nor Medicaid cover long-term care.

Long-term care goes beyond medical care and nursing care to include all the assistance employees could need if they ever have a chronic illness or disability that leaves them unable to care for themselves for an extended period of time. Individuals can receive long-term care in a nursing home, assisted living facility or in their own home.

Beyond nursing homes, a range of services is available in the community to help meet long-term care needs. Visiting nurses, home health aides, friendly visitor programs, home-delivered meals, chore services, adult daycare centers and respite services for caregivers who need a break from daily responsibilities can supplement care given by family members.

You may never need long-term care. But about 19 percent of Americans aged 65 and older experience some degree of chronic physical impairment. Among those aged 85 or older, the proportion of people who are impaired and require long-term care is about 55 percent. By the year 2020, 12 million older Americans will need long-term care.

Your agent will help you understand this complex subject and advise you on what you need in a policy. You can get additional information about long-term care coverage at LongTermCare.gov. For your local office of the Administration on Aging, call 1-800-677-1116.

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