Understanding Long-Term Care

HealthCare Writer

Updated on November 10th, 2021

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How can families prepare for long-term care costs?

Unfortunately, individuals or their families bear most of the costs. Medicare doesn’t cover much. Saving for retirement is important, but families should also save for long-term medical expenses. 

You can start doing this with a Health Savings Account, which shelters funds in a tax-free environment until age 65

Most get help from their spouses, children, or siblings. 

Other Ways to Pay

  • Reverse mortgages for seniors
  • Long-term insurance and life insurance policies
  • Immediate annuities and deferred long-term care annuities
  • Trusts
  • Social Security Disability Income (SSDI) for workers under age 65
  • Supplemental Security Income (SSI)
  • Tax deductions and credits, such as the Household and Dependent Care Credit.
  • Collect all financial and legal documents. Make sure to review the following:
    • Bank and brokerage accounts
    • Deeds, mortgage papers, or ownership statements
    • Medical and durable powers of attorney 
    • Monthly bills and debt
    • Pension and other retirement benefit summaries
    • Social Security payment information
    • Stock and bond certificates
    • Wills

Other Government Programs 

  • The Older Americans Act (OAA) assists with services such as meal and nutrition support, preventive health services, caregiver support, senior employment, and elder abuse prevention. You must be 60 and older to be elgible and meet low-income levels.
  • Program of All-Inclusive Care for the Elderly (PACE): Several states offer this Medicare option that provides services and care to those who would otherwise need nursing home care. PACE covers medical, social service, and long-term care costs that meet specific requirements. There may be a monthly charge. Learn more.



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